When you open a lemonade stand you expect to slice a lot of lemons, sit outside in the heat and make a few dollars. You don't expect to get robbed at gunpoint.
But that's what happened to a 9-year-old boy in Monroe, North Carolina, on Saturday, officials said. The robber pointed a weapon at the boy's stomach and got away with a metal tin that held his earnings -- all $17.
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The police recovered the empty tin nearby, along with a hat, a bicycle and a weapon -- a BB gun -- believed to belong to the suspect, Union County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tony Underwood said at a press conference.
"Just when you think you've heard it all, there's something else that will surprise you," he said. "I think people are capable of a lot of things, but not robbing a child at a lemonade stand."
Underwood called the crime "a new low."
The sheriff's office in the suburban Charlotte county has not identified a suspect. Authorities are looking through surveillance video, pursuing tips and interviewing neighbors, but they do not have a thorough description of the robber, Underwood said.
"(The boy) was able to give a lot of detailed information. Unfortunately, not enough at this point to, you know, conclusively identify the suspect."
Underwood said the boy seemed to be doing OK.
"But I'm sure just as anyone would be going through that type of situation, they're going to be traumatized," he said.
The young entrepreneur was not deterred, however. Neighbors told CNN affiliate WSOC that he was back selling lemonade the next day and had relocated his stand to a community swimming pool,
The neighborhood is the same one where two male suspects -- a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old -- were apprehended for firing at least 10 bullets into two homes on May 27.
"Keep a close eye on (your children)," Underwood said. "I think having an adult close by might deter something like that from happening. And then again, it might not. In today's world, people are very bold."