Lemonade stands seem innocuous enough. Kids, looking for a bit of extra spending money, show their entrepreneurial spirits. Yet the summer of 2018 has been dominated by odd stories featuring the old-fashioned beverage stands. Now news has surfaced of a 9-year-old’s lemonade stand being robbed by bandits.
“A 9-year-old North Carolina boy running a lemonade stand was robbed by an armed suspect Saturday,” ABC reports.
“The boy was selling lemonade in Monroe, about 25 miles from Charlotte, when he was approached by a teen who stuck what appeared to be a handgun to the boy’s stomach, demanded money and fled on foot.”
As it turns out, it was a BB gun, and not a real firearm. The robbery, though, was real enough. The thief made away with $17.
“Officials believe the suspect, described as a black male in his teens, made his getaway on a bicycle after the robbery,” ABC writes. “He was seen wearing a camouflage hat and a black shirt.”
This isn’t the first time the boy has sold lemonade in the otherwise quiet suburban neighborhood. “I’m often seeing the young man selling organic lemonade,” neighbor Robert Pendleton told reporters.
“In today’s world, people are very bold,” Union County spokesman Tony Underwood said. “Criminals are very bold. This is a new low.”
“They found the camo hat we believe was worn by the suspect,” Underwood said. “We also found a black-colored handgun we believe was the handgun that was used, turns out it was a BB gun.”
They also found the 9-year-old’s metal tin that he’d been using to store his earnings. Oddly, the cash was still inside.
The boy hasn’t let the robbery deter him from his efforts to sell lemonade. Instead, he moved his stand to the neighborhood pool.
“If he’s trying to have some kind of goal, maybe the people of the neighborhood could chip in and help out, reward some hard work,” neighbor Lou Armada added.
Hard work is one element of this tale, but the robbery itself has clearly offered the kid some early life lessons, too. And his father is there, now, by his side.