Prank or Crime?

Twin brothers on TikTok are about to find out when a prank becomes a crime. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

23 year old twins Alan and Alex Stokes, who have 25 million followers on TikTok for their prank videos, dressed in all black, wore ski masks and carried duffel bags full of cash to pretend that they had robbed a bank. Unfortunately, they didn’t tell the Uber driver they called, who believed they had actually robbed a bank, and refused to drive them.

A bystander called the police, who drew their guns but eventually realized it was just a prank. The brothers were warned not to do it again. Which they did, four hours later, again prompting a police response, and this time were charged with a felony.

As pranks find an enormous on line audience, pranksters are forgetting that even though they know they’re joking, they may actually be committing a crime. The crime itself would depend on what specific law is broken: criminal mischief, destruction of property, assault, harassment, and in the brothers case, false imprisonment and falsely reporting an emergency, but here’s a good rule of thumb: if you are likely to damage people or property or if you put people in danger by eliciting a police response, remember that your audience will miss you for the time you are sitting in jail.

From The Judge Group, I’m Amy E. Feldman, for KYW News Radio.

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