LOWELL, Mass. - Police north of Boston surrounded a convenience store Tuesday night believing there was an armed robbery happening inside. Instead, they found three amateur filmmakers who were shooting a robbery scene for a short video they planned to put on YouTube, reports CBS Boston.
According to the station, Aamer Nazami, Pat Farrell and Josh McGlouflin were in the process of filming a scene in which a clerk who is new on the job can’t open the register when a robber demands money.
In the video, Farrell is dressed in all black, wearing a mask and pointing a gun at Nazami, reports the station.
The three friends reportedly noticed a police cruiser outside so Nazami
decided to go out and let them know what the trio was up to.
The officers, with their guns drawn, entered the store and ordered Farrell to the ground as they surrounded him, reports the station.
“I was pretty afraid,” Farrell said. “It’s kind of a serious situation if the cops are involved.”
Lowell police say they took the armed robbery report seriously and said that same convenience store had been the scene of a hold up and stand off a decade earlier.
“At the time it wasn’t too funny,” said Lowell Police Captain Kelly Richardson, reports the station. “We laughed about it today, but someone could have been hurt doing this. Common sense goes a long way.”
The three college students weren’t cited for any crime. Richardson says he thinks they learned their lesson. He reminds other filmmakers to call police first before staging a crime.
Nazami, McGlouflin, and Farrell do plan to keep making YouTube videos. But, they say the next one will have a revised script.
“I think we’re going to try to keep doing YouTube videos just not something that intense next time,” said Farrell.