Facebook | Stokes Twins

YouTube Pranksters Facing Felony Charges After Faking A Bank Robbery

People have been filming reactions to pranks for about as long as TV cameras have been around, going all the way back to the Candid Camera days. Naturally, those prank shows have long since made their way to the digital world, with a new generation of pranksters finding new, more interactive audiences.

But, if it seems like pranksters have been pushing the envelope a bit too much to up the ante for their audiences, well, look no further than YouTube stars The Stokes Twins, who have landed themselves in some serious trouble over a prank.

After a misguided attempt at a prank, twins Alan and Alex Stokes face up to four years in prison.

Facebook | Stokes Twins

The popular YouTubers, 23, have 4.8 million followers on their channel, which is largely devoted to videos of pranks and general goofing around with each other.

However, a prank involving a fake bank robbery that they tried in October 2019 went over a line, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

That the authorities might not see the humor in the Stokes Twins' prank might seem obvious in retrospect.

Facebook | Stokes Twins

For the prank, the pair donned black ski masks and clothing and went around a street asking random strangers where the nearest bank was so they could make a "large withdrawal."

In itself, that could be humorous, but they crossed a line when they summoned an Uber, got in, and told the driver to "step on the gas," saying their getaway driver had bailed on them.

Naturally, a nice bystander saw the situation go down and dialed 911.

Facebook | Stokes Twins

The bystander told police that they had witnessed a pair of bank robbers trying to carjack someone. The Uber driver, of course, had no intention of taking the twins anywhere. However, the police soon arrived and pulled their guns on the Uber driver.

As NBC News reported, the situation de-escalated when police determined the driver wasn't actually involved in anything.

The police responding at the scene let the Stokes Twins off with a warning.

Facebook | Stokes Twins

One of the officers reportedly spoke to the twins and told them "I want you guys to be creative and do what you want to do, but you've got to be smarter than this. What do you think people are going to do?"

However, as CNN reported, the warning appeared to not be enough as police received reports of similar activity coming from the University of California, Irvine campus a few hours later.

On August 5, the District Attorney's Office determined that charges in the fake bank robbery were warranted.

Facebook | Stokes Twins

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer called the fake robberies a "twisted attempt to gain more popularity on the internet," according to CNN.

"These were not pranks. These are crimes that could have resulted in someone getting seriously injured or even killed," he said.

The twins face charges of false imprisonment, which is a felony, and reporting a false emergency, a misdemeanor. If convicted, they could face up to four years in prison.

h/t: NBC News, CNN