YOUNG robbers have been warned they could end up spending the best years of their lives behind bars.
Police believe many teenagers who attack other young people for items such as mobile phones do not realise the seriousness of their crimes.
Officers have warned that these offences will be treated as robberies and usually mean a spell in custody.
In recent weeks robbers have struck across Kirklees in areas including Huddersfield town centre, Lockwood and Thornhill Lees.
Officers from Kirklees Robbery Team believe the offences have been committed by teenagers targeting other children.
Sgt Lee Harnell said many of the culprits were bullies who did not understand the severity of their actions.
He said: "They will steal a mobile phone or a small amount of money from another child.
"It is bullying and it is robbery - a very serious offence with very serious consequences.
"At the moment we are hammering home the message to young people that not only is this kind of behaviour wrong, it is criminal and if they are found guilty of robbery they could face a long time in prison."
And he made a direct appeal to them.
"Think of the effect that would have on your family and future job prospects. Is it really worth ruining your life before it's even begun?"
The Robbery Team is working with school liaison officers throughout Kirklees.
Sgt Harnell added: "This is to get our message across, not only to would-be offenders, but to victims as well.
"If people are stealing from you and threatening you, don't put up with it.
"Tell someone about it. You are the victim of a serious offence and the police will deal with it."