CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Just before 8 a.m. Monday morning, 10-year-old Ander Gonzalez, walking to nearby Skycrest Elementary in Clearwater, was stopped a few blocks from his house, by a boy who looked to be about 16.
“At first he just told me, if I had change for five dollars, but I said no ’cause I’m not allowed to talk to people I don’t know,” said Ander.
He continued to school, not knowing the kid who just asked him for change was about to rob him.
“I continued counting my money, then he ran up to me and took away my money, but I couldn’t hear his footsteps because he was like, running in the grass,” he said.
Gone in an instant, Ander’s lunch money and more.
“Kind of sad because I was mostly saving that up to get a bike,” said Ander.
A dream of a new bike vanished.
Hearing about the robbery, Corporal Chris Ziermann with the Clearwater Police Department decided to do something.
“We went down to the school to make things right,” he said.
“He shouldn’t be doing that, and then in my eyes, nobody steals a kid’s lunch money,” said Corporal Ziermann.
He bought Ander a sub, chips and drink, and along with a few squad mates, visited him at Skycrest during Tuesday’s lunch period.
Ander also got a snazzy CPD patch.
“I came from a unit where we strived to help the children, and coming back to the street I focus on that,” said Corporal Ziermann.
From now on, Ander will be more careful with his money.
“Hope he doesn’t do again to other people ’cause other people would be upset,” he said.
A 16-year-old Clearwater High School student has been charged in the robbery. The school resource officer at the school was able to identify a possible suspect through investigative work at the school.
Ander was able to identify the suspect in a photo lineup.
The suspect was taken into custody Tuesday evening while trying to break into a car as officers searched for him.
He has been charged with robbery by sudden snatching and vehicle burglary, and was taken to the juvenile detention facility.
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