ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Prosecutors have charged four young girls in connection to a robbery at an Atlantic City Boardwalk store where the owner collapsed and later died.
The girls' ages range from 11 to 15 years old. According to the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, they also face charges in crimes at other stores along the boardwalk.
Authorities said the owner of a store collapsed after he was allegedly threatened by a knife-wielding 12-year-old boy during a confrontation with multiple juveniles at his shop.
Atlantic City police were called shortly after 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1 on a report that "multiple juveniles were damaging the store and assaulting individuals." Prosecutors allege that a 12-year-old boy "while attempting to steal items ... brandished a knife and threatened the store owner."
Responding officers arrested the youth and a 14-year-old girl, but shortly after officers arrived, the store owner collapsed. Mahmood Ansari, 66, was later pronounced dead at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, prosecutors said.
Ansari owned City Souvenirs for more than 30 years.
Prosecutors said the boy is charged with robbery, weapons offenses, simple assault, terroristic threats, conspiracy and shoplifting. The girl also arrested on April 1 faces charges of robbery, simple assault, shoplifting and conspiracy.
"I want to commend the Atlantic City Police Department for their effort in handling this matter. They have not only worked hard to identify those responsible and hold them accountable, but they have also worked hard to bridge the gaps between two communities, so that everyone feels safe," said Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner.
A cause of death has not been released. The investigation is ongoing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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