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N.Y. Teen Pranksters Arrested

January 14, 1998

SOLVAY, N.Y. (AP) _ Police were not amused by two teens who staged a phony holdup at a video store as a prank on a friend.

Robert H. Glowacki and Michael R. Mastroleo, both 18 and from Solvay, were charged with disorderly conduct, a violation, and issued appearance tickets.

``It was all a big misunderstanding,″ Steven Arlukiewicz, the 18-year-old friend targeted for the prank, said Tuesday. ``They feel bad about it. Looking back, they think it was a stupid thing to do.″

The misguided joke began Saturday, just before midnight, as Arlukiewicz was closing up the Village Video store by himself.

Two tall, masked men with handguns burst into the store. Fearing the worst, Arlukiewicz darted out the back door and ran into a neighboring supermarket, where he called police.

Police responded to the armed robbery with everything they had: Nine police vehicles from four agencies and an Onondaga County Sheriff’s department helicopter rushed to the scene.

Within minutes, police set up a perimeter around the store and then moved in. They met no resistance. When Arlukiewicz followed them in, he found out why.

The culprits were two of his best friends. They told police they were trying to play a prank on Arlukiewicz by pretending to rob him. They didn’t get quite the reaction they had hoped, they told police.

``It was just a joke,″ Glowacki said. ``The guns were plastic.″

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