The 23-year-old brothers were each charged with the crime of false imprisonment for violence, threat or fraud and two counts of misdemeanor for reporting a false emergency in connection with the pranks recorded on October 15, 2019, in the city of Irvine.
The charges include a maximum of five years in prison, according to the Orange County prosecutor’s office.
But the brothers accepted an offer by the judge to cut the sentence to 160 hours of community service if they admitted guilt.
The judge also ruled that the brothers, who have nearly 7 million subscribers on YouTube, must stop making videos imitating criminal behavior, the prosecution said.
A similar prank carried out in Tennessee in February ended with the perpetrator being shot dead by his “victim”, the prosecution said.
In the case of the brothers, they dressed in black, put on ski masks and carried bags of money while pretending to be fleeing a bank robbery.
The brothers then called an Uber, whose driver refused to take them. But an outsider saw the scene and thought it was a car theft. The police arrived and pointed the guns at the driver and told him to get out of his car before realizing it was a joke.
Police officers let the brothers go free after explanations, but they decided to repeat the prank hours later on a university campus and were arrested, the prosecution said.
Youtubers Alan and Alex Stokes in a video in which they ‘troll’ people pretending to be thieves – Photo: Reproduction
VIDEOS: Find out all about entertainment with Semana Pop
Get the latest news delivered to your inbox
Follow us on social media networks