STOCKTON (CBS13) – It’s a soccer practice hold-up. Kids and the coach were victims of an armed robbery at a park in Stockton.
The team of 16 year olds was practicing on a tennis court when three other teens came up to them with a shotgun and demanded their stuff.
“This park is very dangerous. You can’t trust anyone anymore,” said James Griffin, a neighbor.
Stockton police say an entire team was held at gunpoint and robbed of their cell phones, keys and gym bags during practice.
“It is a lot of crime. Weston ranch is really bad,” said Griffin.
Investigators say three teens approached the players and their adult coach just after dark Saturday while they were practicing at Paul Park. One of the suspects flashed a sawed-off shotgun, raced around and forced the team to hand over their property.
“When someone brings a sawed-off shotgun to the area and assaults someone or robs someone, there is a concern,” said Griffin.
Officers were able to track down and arrest two of the suspects nearby — one just 16. The other man arrested was 19-year-old Khayree Lewis. Police also found the shotgun.
“We do have homes being broken into, cars being stolen,” said Griffin.
Neighbors here say the park and surrounding area has become a hangout for criminals, and they are worried about the safety of the families and children who come to the park.
“They see people walking [and] they try to rob you – anything. They jump you with guns or with knives. They try shooting people,” said Emilio Valencia, a neighbor.
After this most recent act of violence involving teens, the neighborhood association plans to take up the issue.
“It will be part of our agenda,” said Griffin.
Aside from robbery, weapon and conspiracy charges, Lewis is also accused of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.