Alan and 23-year-old Alex Stokes could face up to four years in state prison if found guilty
Alan and Alex Stokes are twin brothers who make content for their YouTube page, which has 4.81 million subscribers. Most of his videos involve making challenges, or pranks on his friends.
Although the content they believe is mostly innocent, the twins were charged by Orange County prosecutors with false imprisonment involving violence, threat, fraud or deception, and falsely reporting an emergency, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the County District Attorney’s Office.
All this was derived from a video in which they tried to rob banks, this was recorded in October of last year. The 23-year-old brothers dressed completely in black and wore ski masks while carrying suitcases full of what appeared to be money.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the Irvine resident twins ordered an Uber while posing as thieves around 2:30 p.m. (local time). The driver refused to drive the car, but a witness believed the pair tried to rob the driver.
When the police arrived, they ordered the driver of the platform to get out of the car, at gunpoint. They released him after they realized he was not involved in any way.
The Stokes shared the video on their YouTube channel which they titled “BANK ROBBERY JOKE! (that went wrong) ”.
In the clip, you could see the couple running, with their costumes on and then they got to the taxi. When the driver asked them what was happening, one of the brothers replied that their escape driver had failed them, so they requested the service.
“We are going to a costume party. Could you speed up? ”Asked one of the twins. To which the driver replied that everything was very strange, then he ordered them to get out of the car and left the scene slowly.
The recording cuts to when they are being questioned by officers. One of them explained that their actions could hurt them, due to the nature of what they were doing.
“Think about what’s going on in the present, think about it man, you have to be smarter than that man. You know more than this. As I said, I want them to be creative and do whatever they want, but they have to be smarter than this. What do you think people are going to do? They’re lucky they weren’t targeted with any weapons, so please be careful,” a second officer reprimanded them.
While the former suggested that they record this kind of thing in a controlled environment, to prevent any incident and stressed that the Uber driver was very scared.
The video had more than a million views, however, it was put into “Private” mode, so you can no longer see it on the platform.
“These are not jokes. These are crimes that could have resulted in someone seriously injured or even killed. Law enforcement officials have sworn to protect the public, and when someone calls 911 to report a robbery to an active bank, they will respond to protect lives. Instead, what they found was a kind of twisted attempt to gain more popularity on the Internet unnecessarily endangering members of the public and police officers,” prosecutor Todd Spitzer said in the statement.
Californians have not yet been prosecuted and are not in custody, but would face a maximum sentence of four years in prison if convicted on all charges.