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18-Year-Old Held Up Vape Store at Gunpoint, Laughed, Then Claimed It Was Prank for YouTube: Deputies


A would-be robber claimed he was actually pulling a prank for YouTube, say deputies in Cherokee County, Georgia. Authorities don’t buy it. They argue that Brandon McMahon, 18, was simply terminating a real robbery mid-crime.

“There’s no other person there with him,” said sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker, according to WAGA. “No one was videotaping him. He does not have a YouTube channel as he states.”

Authorities say that’s McMahon entering the Smoke Stars vape shop on 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, according to Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News. As seen on surveillance footage, an armed man — wearing all black, including his pants, sweatshirt, and sunglasses — approached holding out a gun. But he suddenly bent over laughing.

“Yo, dude, that’s not funny,” said a store employee.

The gunman took off his mask, hood, and sunglasses, revealing his face for a surveillance camera.

The suspect reportedly claimed it was a prank for YouTube, and that the gun was an airsoft. He reportedly put the gun in his backpack, and he did not take anything. But deputies said they were able to identify McMahon as the suspect thanks to help from the public and school police by uploading his image to social media, according to WAGA.

Even if this was a prank, Baker said, the results could have been dangerous.

“Something like that happens, not only could the clerk shoot you, a bystander might try to protect the clerk,” Baker said. “It’s very dangerous.”

All told, however, he maintains McMahon planned this as a real robbery. Authorities claim they found a .357 magnum in him home. They assert this was the actual gun used in the crime.

“This was an actual armed robbery that he changed his mind about during the act and tried to downplay it and leave the scene,” Baker said.

McMahon was arrested at Woodstock High School, authorities said. He faces a count of criminal attempt to commit armed robbery and was locked up at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center on $4,875 bond.

[Screenshot via WAGA]

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