Families Warned About 'Apple Picking' Robberies

RENO, NV - “For that child to say this is all that he's got and to fight for it and then people come and take it from him, its horrible,” says J.R. Tolentino, a Las Vegas resident.

Tolentino works just feet away from where 15-year-old Marcos Arenas was run over by two men who took his new iPad.

News that the two suspects were arrested provided some relief for the family this past weekend.

“We're relieved its not going to bring him back but it's, um, they can't hurt any other kids so you know it's good,” says Tabitha Guertler, Arenas' stepmother.

Authorities in Las Vegas say stealing electronic devices like an iPad is becoming more and more common there and nationwide.

Called Apple Picking, there have been no cases reported here in Reno; however, the advice here and elsewhere is the same.

“There is no item that any of us have that is worth life. Go ahead and surrender the item. Pay attention be a good witness, report the crime to us and help us with our investigation. IF someone tries to take you, physically into a vehicle or take you from your place, the outcome usually doesn't work in your favor. That is definitely worth fighting and resisting, making noise, and fleeing, directing attention to yourself and the situation,” says Sergeant Ralph Caldwell with Washoe County Sheriff's Criminal Investigations Unit.

Reportedly the Arenas family was not of means and saving for an electronic device was a big expense. Kids we talked to from the Rain Shadow Charter School understand such a sacrifice, and have mixed feelings about what they would do if it were taken away.

“I would probably do the same. I wouldn't have given it up either,” says 17-year-old Simon Martinez.

“I understand, I can relate to it, but to be honest it's kinda of like if it's a thing of life of death I'd rather give it up,” says 19-year-old Roxana Avelar.

“It is super important that my mom would go out of her way to buy something that she can't afford for me, and then it makes me disappointed when I would risk trying to lose it and trying to tell her I lost it would be even harder,” says Ashley Kennedy, a 19-year-old.

The two suspects in this case, 18-year-old Jacob Dismont and 21-year-old Michael Solid, have been booked on open murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery charges at the Clark County Detention Center.