The teen apparently grabbed a locked cash box holding $1,093.27 out of a teacher's arms and fled.
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department found the 16-year-old boy by helicopter. The boy and an 18-year-old accomplice were arrested.
The accomplice, Shane Spalla of Lake Elsinore, was booked into the Southwest Detention Center where he was held in lieu of $5,000 bail.
The identity of the boy was not released.
The incident allegedly took place at just after 6 p.m. Friday outside Earl Warren Elementary School, 41221 Rosetta Canyon Drive.
Authorities said the cash box was returned to the teacher.
City News Service contributed to this report.