PEORIA, Ill. (KMOX) - A heartbreaking crime story has become a heartfelt moment for a neighborhood in Illinois after two teenage boys were robbed at gunpoint at their lemonade stand. It's what happened after the dastardly deed that is making this story go viral.
The Peoria Police Department shared a video on Facebook of dozens of police vehicles and other community members who arrived in a parade to where the robbery took place the week before. The video has been shared more than 2,400 times.
To help the boys feel safe continuing their business, some officers and community members paid up to $20 for a cup of lemonade.
Police say a male suspect described as a teenager walked up to the lemonade stand on Aug. 7, displayed what appeared to be a firearm, then snatched the money box and ran off. There was $30 in the box.
One of the boys' father told CNN that the 13-year-old entrepreneurs were "just shocked."
"I got a call from police saying, ''Hey, your kids are OK, but they just got robbed.' I almost blacked out, I was just so scared I was trying to get there as fast as possible," Nathan Peterson told CNN.
The generosity from the town didn't end there. Peterson also says more than $3,500 has been raised through Facebook fundraisers and PayPal donations.
"The robbery itself felt surreal. But the response from the police and community made me so happy," one of the 13-year-old told CNN. "I think there will be less robberies in Peoria because of the way we celebrate the good and are proactive about correcting the bad."