TikTok twins charged over bank robbery ‘prank’

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Alex Stokes and Alan Stokes make videos on TikTok and YouTube

TikTok and YouTube video-makers Alan and Alex Stokes have been arrested after allegedly staging two fake bank robberies for a video.

During one incident, an Uber driver was held at gunpoint by police.

The twin brothers, who have a total of about 30 million followers, have been charged with false imprisonment and falsely reporting an emergency.

If convicted, they face up to four years in prison.

The pair are accused of presenting themselves as criminals to an unsuspecting Uber driver and members of the public in Irvine, California, on 15 October 2019.

In one YouTube video, the pair are seen running away from a building wearing ski masks, and carrying duffel bags filled with dollar bills.

They appear to ask bystanders to give them assistance in the form of clothes or free car rides. The Uber driver refused to give them a ride.

The police were called by a member of the public, who thought they were trying to steal the driver’s car. When police arrived, the driver was held at gunpoint. It was later determined that he was not involved.

The incident was being filmed by a videographer for the purpose of being shared on social media.

At the time, police let the brothers go with a warning, some of which was included in their video.

However, Orange Country district attorney Todd Spitzer said the elaborate “prank” had broken the law.

“These are crimes that could have resulted in someone getting seriously injured or even killed,” said Mr Spitzer.

“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.”

FBI raid

On Thursday, the FBI confirmed it had raided the house of YouTube star Jake Paul.

Mr Paul is facing charges of looting in Arizona, and recently held a party that allegedly broke public health orders.

The 23-year-old social media star has more than 20 million followers on YouTube.


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