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Juvenile gunman robs Sonic

ALBANY, Ga. -- A lone juvenile pointed a gun at Sonic Drive-In staff, demanded money and found himself in police custody about 30 minutes later Thursday, an Albany Police Department official said.

Responding to an emergency dispatch, police arrived at the Sonic Drive-In at 910 South Slappey Blvd. at about 10 a.m., APD spokeswoman Phyllis Banks said.

"When they arrived, they learned that an unknown suspect entered a side door of the business," Banks said. "Once inside, he demanded money while pointing a handgun at the victims."

The suspect fled the scene on foot with an undetermined amount of cash. Thirty minutes later, officers arrested a 16-year-old boy on the 800 block of Odom Avenue, Banks said.

Rico Hall was charged with armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a person under the age of 18, a police report stated.

Hall was not yet booked at 5 p.m. Thursday, but police plan to take him to the Dougherty County Jail, not the Regional Youth Detention Center, Banks said.

"He'll be taken to adult jail," Banks said. "Juveniles have to learn that if they commit a crime with a weapon, they can possibly be charged as an adult."

In an e-mail, the restaurant chain's corporate management would only say, "Sonic and the local franchise owners strive to provide a safe environment for our valued customers and crew. Any additional questions about this incident should be directed to police, as it is Sonic's policy and practice not to comment upon ongoing criminal investigations to avoid possibly interfering with them."

This was the third armed robbery of a business this week. Two Flash Foods convenience stores were previously robbed by a trio of armed thieves.