North Carolina boy, 9, robbed at gunpoint while selling lemonade, cops say

A 9-year-old North Carolina boy manning his lemonade stand Saturday was robbed at gunpoint by a teen who made off with just $17, officials said.

The boy was at his lemonade stand at a roundabout in St. John’s Forest development about 3 p.m. Saturday when a teenager wearing a camouflage hat walked up, pointed a gun at the child’s stomach and demanded he hand over the money he'd earned, Union County police said. Philip Smith, the boy’s father, told FOX46 the cash amounted to about $17.

"Never had an incident like this, never thought this would happen," Smith told the news station. "It's pretty low, despicable in my book, and I can't believe someone would stoop that low to steal money from him.”


Investigators discovered a camouflage hat, metal tin and a black BB gun in a wooded area near the scene of the crime.

"I think people are capable of a lot of things, but not robbing a child at a lemonade stand, that takes it to a new level," said Union County Sheriff's Office chief communications officer Tony Underwood.

Smith said his son has been selling lemonade in the neighborhood almost every weekend to help pay for a new lawnmower. Despite the scary incident, Smith said his son and his wife were back on the same street selling lemonade less than 24 hours after the robbery.

"We are being resilient and he came out here to sell some lemonade today just to be back at it and taking out time to process everything that happened," Smith said. "We kinda explained it to him that bad things do happen to good people and you never know when it's going to happen to you. You just gotta pray and be glad that he is safe.”

Police did not identify a potential suspect and are asking neighbors to come forward with surveillance video that may have captured the incident.