Armed Robbery of Lemonade Stand Unites Community

MONROE, N.C. (CN) — Three days after a teenager wielded a gun to rob a lemonade stand of $17, police in the booming North Carolina city say they are determined to nab the culprit.

“We are following every lead we have come up with and will continue to do so,” Tony Underwood, a spokesman for the Union County Sheriff’s Office, said Tuesday in an interview.

Sitting in his car outside a lemonade stand in Monroe, N.C., , customer Aug. 4 2018, photo provided by James Castellano shows the beverage he purchased. A teenager who held up the North Carolina lemonade stand for $17 remains at large on Aug. 7, and authorities said they hoped to track him through surveillance footage and possible DNA and fingerprint tests. (James Castellano via AP)

While no suspects have emerged, authorities hope to collect fingerprints and DNA from evidence that was found in the woods alongside the metal cash box stolen from a 9-year-old at his lemonade stand in Monroe, about 30 miles southeast of Charlotte.

The camouflage hat left in the woods with a BB pistol and the cash box match the boy’s description of his assailant, said to have also been wearing a black T-shirt.

Underwood said the department is asking neighbors to review any surveillance systems they might have for footage of the culprit.

“It has literally gone viral,” said Underwood. “People have reacted as far away as Hawaii.”

An Associated Press report quotes one neighbor as saying the lemonade stand was back up and running just on day after the robber, doing “a brisk business.”

Another neighbor produced a business card from the stand’s proprietor, advertising the 9-year-old’s skills as a designer, dog walker, reptile caregiver, lawn mower and professional ring bearer. Like the sign outside the stand, the card also assures customers that the lemonade is organic.

It did not take long for residents who heard about the robbery to begin a fundraiser that would enable the young entrepreneur boy to purchase a lawn mower.

To help the child achieve his goal of starting a lawn service, Lowe’s Home Improvement ultimate donated and delivered a riding lawn mower.

“Union County remains a great place to live,” Underwood said. “It is close-knit and still growing. This overwhelmingly demonstrates that people will rally around others in the community in a time of need.”

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