12-year-old robbed on the way to school in Burlington

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BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Police are looking for two men who they say robbed a 12-year-old Monday morning.

The boy is a student at Turrentine Middle School, and the robbery reportedly happened before school.

"He's in shock, he doesn't want to go outside no more," said Joel Moreno-Esteban, the boy's father.

Moreno-Esteban says his son thought he missed his bus to school Monday, so he tried to catch up to it at another stop. That's when he says two men came up from behind.

"He noticed that they were behind him. He tried to speed up and they actually caught up with him," said Lt. Brian Long, of the Burlington Police Department.

Long says the men told the 12-year-old to go behind a vacant house at Pine and Key Streets. They stole a gold necklace with an eagle medallion and a seven inch HP Slate Tablet he'd gotten for Christmas.

The boy was able to give police some information about the suspects.

"One of them referred to the other one as 'D'," said Lt. Long.

Long described the suspects as black men between 16 and 20 years old.

Parents in the area say there have been break-ins in the neighborhood before, but this is the first time they've felt their kids were at risk.

"They won't stand out at the bus stop anymore by themselves, because I would be scared that the same thing would happen to them," said Shelby Sherrill.

That's something Moreno-Esteban is worried about too.

"You know, now it's my son, but tomorrow it could be another one. Another child," said Moreno-Esteban.

Police say the 12-year-old was right to not fight the men, because belongings can be replaced and people can't. They also encourage students to use the buddy system at bus stops to avoid walking alone.

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