Thieves rob KSU students at gunpoint

William Schertz

Police are still searching for suspects following two armed robberies, both occurring on College Street early Friday morning.

Jana Justen and Angela Prinzo, both junior family and consumer studies majors, were on their way home from Ray’s Place at 2:30 a.m. While walking on East College Street, between South Willow and South Lincoln streets, two black males walked up, pointed a gun at them and demanded their belongings, Justen said.

“I was just shocked,” she said. “We’ve walked home from there so many times, and no one’s ever approached us like that.”

The two suspects stole their purses containing cell phones, car keys and credit cards among other items. Justen said the two of them immediately ran to her house to call the police.

Minutes after the first robbery, Kyle Moye, senior marketing major, had just walked a girl home from Ray’s Place when he was also robbed at gunpoint on East College Street, this time near Depeyster Street by two to three suspects.

“Kent’s usually a pretty safe place,” Moye said. “You don’t usually think twice about walking home after a night at the bar.”

Kent Police Department Lt. Ray Stein speculated a description of the two suspects. One is a young black male, about 6 feet tall, slim and was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, and the other is a black male, about 5 feet, 7 inches and was wearing a white hooded sweatshirt. There was no information on the third suspect.

Stein said there was also a similar robbery with a similar subject description that took place the week prior.

“There’s a handgun involved, so obviously it’s a concern,” he said. “Fortunately no one was hurt in the three episodes, but they (the suspects) get more comfortable. They get more brazen.”

Stein said so far no other witnesses have come forward with information about the incident.

Stein also gave tips on how to avoid ending up in a similar situation.

“Don’t go home by yourself, and girls should maybe get an escort home,” he said. “Try to stay in well lit areas. Just be more aware of your surroundings.”

Stein said alcohol is a major factor in robberies like these because being under the influence makes you a more susceptible target.

Moye admitted to being “a little under the influence” when the robbery occurred, but said he does not think it made much of a difference in this situation.

“If three kids come up to you and put a gun in your face you can’t really prevent that,” he said.

Stein said if you do find yourself in a situation like this, you should avoid confrontation as much as possible and be cooperative.

“Don’t be belligerent, and don’t be cocky,” he said.

Contact public affairs reporter William Schertz at [email protected].