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They’re just kids, but they robbed and assaulted people at gunpoint, cops say

McClatchy

Bellingham Police have arrested three teenage boys in connection with several armed robberies and other crimes last week across two neighborhoods north of downtown.

Lt. Danette Beckley said the boys were identified from a photo posted on the police department’s Facebook page. Detectives and officers from the department’s Neighborhood Anti-Crime Team worked from public tips to identify the suspects in four robberies on Jan. 5-6.

“Coincidentally, an officer saw the juveniles at the station and recognized them from a photo of a robbery he was investigating so they were arrested on that charge as well,” Beckley said.

Names of the three suspects were not released because two of them are 15, Beckley said. The age of the third boy wasn’t released, but Beckley said he is a minor.

Beckley said the boys were arrested last week, but announced the arrests Monday in a Facebook post.

All are in juvenile detention, she said.

“Detectives learned that the weapon displayed during two of the robberies was an Airsoft gun,” Beckley said.

Beckley said the boys are suspects in the Jan. 5 incident – two people stole a customer’s change at Deals Only, 2331 James St., then assaulted a bystander and stole his skateboard as they fled. The next day, three young men attacked and robbed two men at gunpoint a few minutes apart in the Sunnyland and Roosevelt neighborhoods.

“A male running on the trail was tripped and assaulted by three suspects as they demanded money” about 6:10 p.m. in the 2600 block of Moore Street, Beckley said, adding that the victim suffered a head injury when he fell and the attackers stole his cellphone.

Fifteen minutes later, in the 2500 block of King Street, three suspects with the same description hit a man in the head and demanded his wallet.

Beckley said police used a dog to track the suspects but they got away. Items from the victim’s wallet were recovered, police said.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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