SPRING GARDEN TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- York College of Pennsylvania campus security is warning students about an armed robbery by an unusual group of suspects.
It's a case that has students on edge, and youth organizers concerned about keeping kids off the streets and out of trouble.
The campus security warning states that a male student was walking alone on Butler Alley, just behind campus late Thursday afternoon. They say a group approached the student and demanded money at gunpoint. The suspects are described as a group of 10 to 12-year-old kids.
It's news that hits too close to home for many students who live off campus like York College of Pennsylvania junior Hunter Miller.
"It's a little crazy. I mean they're so young. The fact that they were able to have guns, and assault a student that way, it's a little unnerving to be so close to that," Miller said.
The young age of the suspects also is unnerving to LaQuinn Thompson, the community outreach director at nearby St. Matthews Church.
"It makes me sad to see that our youth are kind of geared to that lifestyle, even though there are so many opportunities out here for them to stray away from that. It breaks my heart to kind of see that happening right now in our city," Thompson said.
"There might be some parenting issues, I don't know, or someone's using them as a ploy in their plot to do something. Or they're trying to get involved in gang activity at such a young age, and something needs to be done about it," Miller said.
It's where places like St. Matts step in for at risk kids, when parents might not be able to.
"We are here for them. We want to make sure they are growing the way they want to grow, and it's a positive way," Thompson said.
That plan includes helping kids with their studies and giving them other things to do to occupy their free time.
"We have an arcade room, we play video games down here, PlayStation 4, Xbox 1. We have different kinds of tournaments down here to keep them together, and be able to fellowship with each other," Thompson said.
Reaching out to not just at risk kids, but all kids is something that St. Matthew's has been doing for 50 years.
"The youth that come in here, are our future leaders, and we want to make sure that they understand that we are here to support them," Thompson said.
The victim described the suspects as a group of four to five African-American kids, aged 10 to 12 years old. One was wearing a ski mask. Anyone with information should contact York City Police.