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Suspected Of Theft, Boys Stripped, Beaten

Four youngsters suspected of stealing $300 and a cash register from a store were forced to strip naked and run through a gantlet of about 50 Nation of Islam members who beat them with belts and bamboo canes, police said.

Four members of the black Muslim group who were working as security guards at the shopping mall were arrested on kidnapping charges. They are accused of beating the boys, then forcing them into the gantlet for more abuse during a four-hour ordeal.

The brothers, ages 16, 13, 12, and a 13-year-old friend were treated at the scene for bruises and welts on their backs, buttocks and legs. They were released to their parents. No immediate charges were filed against them.