Robbers Strike at Town and Gown
A recent pair of unsolved armed robberies has led authorities to encourage the public to keep on guard and stay alert. Two female Oberlin College students were robbed at gunpoint this past Saturday, Oct. 27. On Monday, a patron of the IGA supermarket was held up in the parking lot.
According to police reports, Oberlin police officers responded to a call from two students at Harkness at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night. The two women reported that they had been robbed twenty minutes earlier on West Vine Street “by three black males on bicycles.” The three young men, estimated to be between 18 and 20 years old, approached the women from behind and told them to “drop everything.”
At least two of the men were reported to be brandishing black handguns. The students dropped their purses and were instructed to head west down Vine Street and later told the police that the men left down East Vine, then possibly headed down Main Street.
Two of the alleged thieves were reported to be around six feet tall, and the other was reported to be slightly shorter. All three wore dark, hooded sweatshirts. One obscured his face with a green bandana and the others with unknown objects. The complainants informed the police that the robber in front sounded like he was disguising his voice by speaking lower than normal. They said he had dark skin; a small nose; a broad, round face; large eyes and feminine facial characteristics.
Two days later, on Monday, Oct. 29, in an event that Police Public Information Officer and Captain Clifton Barnes said was similar to the first, an employee of IGA called the police and told them that a patron was robbed in the parking lot. At approximately 8:34 p.m., while officers were speaking with the employee, the patron in question telephoned 911.
The IGA patron told Police Dispatch that the subject pointed the gun at her and asked for money, but she said she did not have any. The subject left when she bent down to retrieve the cell phone that fell when she emptied her purse to prove she was not carrying cash.
The victim described the perpetrator as a black male, estimated to be 20-25 years of age, with his face covered by a white scarf and wearing a red, hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. Police Dispatch advised the officers on the scene that the subject was armed with a black semi-automatic handgun. After demanding the money, he headed toward the trees east of IGA.
The guard at the Federal Aviation Administration facility informed the police that about 8:05 p.m. he saw a male wearing a red sweatshirt walk from the west into the IGA parking lot.
In response to the Saturday robbery, Oberlin College’s Office of Safety and Security put out an advisory that stated, “Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or any suspicious activity in the time period surrounding the incident or may have been approached by a suspicious person on or around campus, should report the information immediately to the Safety and Security Office at 775-8444 or directly to the Oberlin Police Department at 744-1061.”