SAO PAULO – Police have taken four children between the ages of 14 and 16 into custody for a number of robberies in the Morumbi neighborhood in the southern part of the City of São Paulo, reported O Globo.
The gang reportedly used a toy machine gun as well as a knife to threaten its victims. Seven of the victims picked all four of the detained minors out of a police lineup at the station.
”I just bought a house in another neighborhood outside of Morumbi,” said Bruno Bacci, a manager and one of the victims.
Said another victim, manicurist Vera Lucia Fiorezze, “I never took my hand off the horn! I could only shout ‘I’ve been robbed! I’ve been robbed!’ I couldn’t even get my car into the garage, I was so distraught.”
The minors were picked up during a police sweep of the streets in Morumbi. Police said that they stole jewelry, watches, earrings, wallets and cash.
Police said that in the last two months, 18 thieves were arrested in Morumbi, including 16 minors. The neighborhood has experienced a rash of assaults in recent months. Over the weekend, residents held a demonstration calling for more security.
Morumbi is between 9 and 15 km from the center of the city of São Paulo. It has always been considered as a sophisticated and wealthy neighborhood of the city despite the existance of the Paraisópolis slum, or favela. Morumbi may be best known as the final resting place of the famed Brazilian triple Formula One World Champion Ayrton Senna and the singer Elis Regina.