YouTube's Stokes Twins Charged Following Bank Robbery Pranks
Pulling a fake bank robbery prank surrounded by people who have no idea what you're up to should seem like a recipe for disaster. It's a lesson two YouTube/TikTok stars appear to have learned the hard way.
Identical twins Alan and Alex Stokes, aged 23, have been charged with felonies following incidents last year where they are alleged to have posed as bank robbers running away from crime scenes, with the footage to be posted on their social media channels.
In one of the stunts, the duo - known professionally as the Stokes Twins - called an Uber, telling the unwitting taxi driver that their getaway vehicle and driver hadn't showed up.
The Uber driver refused to take the twins anywhere, but was later ordered out of his car at gunpoint by police, and was released only after police realised he hadn't been involved in the prank.
The brothers' videographer filmed them entering the Uber from afar dressed all in black and wearing ski masks. The pair were also carrying duffel bags full of cash, pretending they had just robbed a bank.
A bystander witnessed the exchange and, believing the Stokes brothers had actually robbed a bank, called the police thinking they had also attempted to carjack the Uber driver.
Police showed up soon after and, after discovering the truth of the situation, issued the brothers with a warning about how dangerous their conduct was and let them go.
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Just hours later, however, the twins allegedly performed the same prank again on a university campus. As a result, law enforcement received a number of emergency calls regarding a bank robbery that was taking place. Understandably, the authorities didn't find it the slightest bit amusing.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement: "These were not pranks. 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 (5 August), 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 October 2019 pranks. They could face up to four years in prison as a result.
Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Alan and Alex Stokes