CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Door after door smashed and registers stolen after two teens committed more than a dozen robberies in Ballantyne and Huntersville combined.
Police say 16-year-old Lamariay Witherspoon and Douglas Mobley are responsible. Both teens appeared in court, both smiling as the judge told them they could go home.
"Like a little community service might help. Work for us for a couple of days and learn like what a real job is," said Patrict Ghant, the owner of Pinky's. Pinky's was one of the restaurants targeted in the robberies.
FOX 46 spoke to Witherspoon's parents off camera, they say he's never been in trouble before and is a normal teen who made a bad decision. He goes to high school and wants to be a basketball player.
Mobley's parents weren't in the courtroom. His cousin told the judge his mom was at work.
"I'm less angry now. I mean not that they broke in but just like whoever put them in that position to where that's what they're doing with their lives," Ghant said.
Pinky's was one of the businesses broken into. The manager says a lighter punishment now could change their lives.
"They've got the rest of their lives to look forward to. You know, you could make a difference right there and make sure they don't spend the rest of their lives doing stuff like this and maybe put them on the right track," said Ghant.
While he doesn't think juvenile detention or prison is the right answer he says the ankle monitors aren't a bad idea.
"At that age and with that mind set especially, you just don't care what's going on and to maybe have someone keeping track of what they're doing and especially like that their parents have a better idea of what they're spending their time doing, they might have a little tighter grip."
It's not clear how long the teens would have to wear the ankle monitors, but both are due back in court in December.