Twin TikTok Stars Face Four Years In Prison After Pulling Off Bank Robbery Prank
Identical twin TikTok stars Alan and Alex Stokes have been arrested after allegedly staging two fake bank robberies for a viral video.
The twin brothers, who have about 30 million followers between them, have been charged with false imprisonment and falsely reporting an emergency.
It comes after they shared footage on their social media channels last year showing them posing as bank robbers running away from their ‘crime scenes’.
You can watch part of the prank below:
The 23-year-olds are accused of presenting themselves as criminals to unsuspecting members of the public in Irvine, California, on October 15 last year.
During one incident, an Uber driver was held at gunpoint by police after the twins called a taxi and told the driver their getaway vehicle hadn’t showed up.
Although the driver refused to take them anywhere, he was later ordered out of his car at gunpoint by police, and was only released after officials realised he hadn’t been involved in the prank.
A video shared to their YouTube channel showed the twins running away from a building wearing ski masks and carrying duffel bags filled with dollar bills.
In the footage, they could be seen asking passersby for assistance in the form of clothes or free car rides. Police arrived at the scene when a concerned member of the public rang 911, after they assumed the brothers were trying to steal someone’s car.
At the time, police let the Stokes go with a warning, part of which was included in their YouTube video. However, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer has since said the elaborate prank had broken the law.
Spitzer said, as per the BBC:
These are crimes that could have resulted in someone getting seriously injured or even killed. Law enforcement officers are sworn to protect the public and when someone calls 911 to report an active bank robbery, they are going to respond to protect lives.
Instead, what they found was some kind of twisted attempt to gain more popularity on the internet by unnecessarily putting members of the public and police officers in danger.
On Wednesday, August 5, the brothers were each charged with one felony count of false imprisonment effected by violence, menace, fraud, or deceit, as well as one misdemeanour count of falsely reporting an emergency in connection with the prank.
The whole thing was filmed by the brothers’ videographer for the sole purpose of being shared on social media.
If convicted, they face up to four years in prison.
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