Philadelphia police are investigating a series of armed burglaries involving Temple University students at off-campus residences.
The latest incident occurred around 6:18 a.m. Monday when two men dressed in all black broke into a house on Block 1900 on North 18th Street, a few blocks from the university, police said. One of his suspects was wearing a mask and armed with a Uzi weapon, police said.
Police said the suspect fled with several iPhones, iPads, an Apple Watch, a MacBook Pro and a Glock 19 handgun before stealing a black 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Police said no injuries were reported and the vehicle was recovered.
Four people were in the house at the time, including two schoolboys from Temple, according to ABC Philadelphia station. WPVI.
A third roommate, who was not home at the time, told WPVI, “They just woke up and had guns pointed at them.”
“My roommates calmed down and gave them what they wanted,” he said.
The home invasion was reported approximately two weeks after two similar incidents in the area. This included Temple students in off-campus housing.
At approximately 4:40 a.m. on November 9, three masked men dressed in black (two of whom were armed with guns) broke into a house, also on the 1900 block of North 18th Street. They entered, police said. Police said they “approached” the victim’s three 19-year-old girlfriends and fled the scene with a laptop, backpack, car keys and ID. No one was injured.
“I can hear things churning in the kitchen upstairs. My heart started pounding because it sounded like multiple people. I was shivering in bed. I didn’t know what to do.” said Kayla Barone, one of the victims. told WPVI.
Barone said she tried to call her two roommates to warn them, but they were asleep. She then called her 911. The men locked her two roommates in one of her rooms and forced Barone to hand over her belongings, including her cell phone, she said. They fled when they realized she called 911, she said.
Two days later, at around 6:00 am on November 11, nine women and two men between the ages of 20 and 22 awoke, rounded up at gunpoint According to police, they were locked in a basement after two masked men dressed in black broke into their apartment on the 1300th block of North 15th Street.
Police said the suspects stole each victim’s cell phone, debit and credit cards, and keys to a silver 2015 Lincoln MKZ before driving off. A car and two mobile phones were eventually recovered, police said. No one was injured.
The victim’s credit and debit cards were used shortly after the robbery, police said Tuesday, releasing surveillance footage of the two suspects.
The victim was also a Temple student, school officials confirmed.
“I don’t think it will happen to me, but when it does, it’s a shock,” said one student. told WPVI.
No arrests have been made in the home burglary.
Investigators have not ruled out the possibility that the three incidents are related, police said.