By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police say cell phones and other mobile devices are being stolen more often, but a violent robbery involving an 8-year-old boy had some people shaking their heads and a Minneapolis man leaping to action.

Last Thursday, a boy was punched and the iPad in his hands was stolen outside a Minneapolis restaurant.

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Aaron Stillday, 32, was arrested and charged with first-degree aggravated robbery. Police caught him after a good Samaritan chased him down.

“Poor kid,” said Mohammad Armeli, the man who chased down the robber. “I can’t believe it, the blood was all over his face. Could have broken his nose.”

Surveillance video shows the 8-year-old following his aunt out of a day care building. What happened next left Armeli’s blood boiling.

“This is the scum of the earth,” he said. “You cannot hit a child like that. Don’t hit him for his iPad, or for anything.”

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Armeli, who works at a Greek restaurant nearby, heard the commotion and went after the robber. While talking to 911 on his cell phone, he chased Stillday for more than a half-mile.

Police say they’ve seen Stillday before.

“As I was told, he’s been arrested 60 times,” Armeli said. “I can’t believe they let him out.”

Police have also seen this kind of crime before. While there isn’t much left of the iPad – it was smashed on the sidewalk — its original value is what made it a target in the first place.

“These are valuable items that people want,” said Scott Seroka of the Minneapolis Police Department. “And if you don’t have to have them out, maybe you can wait until you’re in a secure environment to use them.”

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On the bright side: The boy’s sister said the family took the shattered iPad to the Apple store in Uptown, along with video of the incident, and they were given a new iPad.

Reg Chapman