(PHILADELHPIA) — Philadelphia police are investigating a string of armed home invasions involving Temple University students at off-campus housing.
The most recent incident occurred Monday around 6:18 a.m., when police say two men dressed in all black entered a home on the 1900 block of North 18th Street, several blocks from the university. One of the suspects wore a mask and was armed with an Uzi-style weapon, police said.
The suspects made off with several iPhones, an iPad, Apple Watches, a MacBook Pro and a Glock 19 handgun before fleeing in a black 2022 Black Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross also stolen from the property, police said. No injuries were reported and the car was recovered, police said.
Four people, including two male Temple students, were inside the home at the time, according to ABC Philadelphia station WPVI.
“They woke them up and they just had guns pointed at them,” a third roommate who wasn’t home at the time told WPVI.
“My roommates kept calm and gave them what they wanted,” he said.
The home invasion was reported nearly two weeks after two similar incidents in the area also involving Temple students at off-campus housing.
On Nov. 9 at around 4:40 a.m., three masked men in dark clothing — two of whom were armed with guns — entered a home also located on the 1900 block of North 18th Street, police said. They “approached” three 19-year-old female victims and fled the scene with a laptop, backpack, car keys and identification, police said. No one was injured.
“I hear all this rummaging upstairs in the kitchen. It sounded like multiple people, so my heart started like beating. I was shaking in bed. I didn’t know what to do,” one of the victims, Kayla Barone, told WPVI.
Barone said she tried to call to warn her two roommates, but they were asleep. She then called 911. The men locked her two roommates in one room while forcing Barone to hand over her belongings, including her cellphone, she said. They fled when they realized she had called 911, she said.
Two days later, on Nov. 11, at around 6 a.m., nine women and two men between the ages of 20 and 22 were woken up, rounded up at gunpoint and locked in a basement after two masked men dressed in black entered their apartment on the 1300 block of North 15th Street, police said.
The suspects took each victim’s cellphones, debit cards and credit cards, as well as the keys to a 2015 silver Lincoln MKZ, before fleeing in the vehicle, police said. The car and two of the cellphones were ultimately recovered, police said. No one was injured.
The victims’ credit and debit cards were used shortly after the robbery, police said Tuesday while releasing surveillance footage of the two suspects.
The victims were also Temple students, school officials confirmed.
“You never think it’s going to happen to you, but when it does, it’s like a shock,” one student told WPVI.
No arrests have been made in any of the home invasion robberies.
Investigators have not ruled out the possibility that the three incidents are connected, police said.
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