Armed robbery of York College student linked to off-campus assault, security says


To report information on any of these individuals, call the Adams County Sheriff’s Office at 717-337-9828.
Hafiz Rashid, York Daily Record

Sunday’s on-campus robbery is believed to be connected to an off-campus assault on Saturday, according to the college.

A cellphone was taken at gunpoint early Sunday morning on the York College campus in Spring Garden Township when a group of males accosted several students, according to an alert notice from the college.

According to the college’s Department of Campus Safety, at about 1:50 a.m., a group of students were on the West Campus outside Little Run Lodge near Colonial Avenue when they were approached by the males.

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“One suspect displayed a black pistol when the suspects approached students and demanded property,” according to the alert. “A cell phone was taken from one student.”

The suspects are believed to be the same group described in an off-campus assault on Saturday. No further information was available on that incident.

In Sunday’s incident, the other students had nothing of value to the males and nothing was taken from them. After taking the cellphone, the males ran east on Colonial Avenue, where they were seen getting into a waiting black, low riding hatchback car, driven by a female, the alert states.

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“The vehicle fled east toward Grantley Road just as officers responding to the call were nearing the scene,” the alert states. “A rapid search of the area was conducted by responding campus and local police officers who quickly determined the suspects had left the area. No students were injured.”

The victim described the suspects as three to four Hispanic males and one female driver. One suspect was described as 18-23 years old, 5 feet, 7 inches to 5 feet, 11 inches tall, and 115-140 pounds with light facial hair. He was wearing dark brown pants, a red flannel shirt, black jacket and armed with a black pistol. The other suspects were dressed in all black, according to the alert.

York College steps up security

The college is responding to the incidents by beefing up security presence in and around the college campus.

“The recent criminal activity we have incurred in our community is of concern,” college president Pamela-Gunter-Smith said in a letter addressed to the York College community. “The safety of our community is paramount.”

Gunter-Smith said the following steps were taken immediately:

  • Campus safety increased patrols around campus
  • Spring Garden Township police increased patrols in and around campus
  • Campus safety is coordinating with Spring Garden Township and York City police in the investigation into the incidents.

In addition, Gunter-Smith credited students who witnessed the events and “did an admirable job” calling 911. In the second incident, she said officers missed the suspects fleeing in the car “by moments.”

While the college has increased security, Gunter-Smith stressed not having a heightened state of fear.

“My note to you is not to raise alarm,” Gunter-Smith said. “But I do ask that you not become complacent regarding safety.

“Be assured that we will assist law enforcement to make certain those responsible for these acts are held accountable by law. This is our York College.”

How students can help

If you see suspicious activity or a crime in progress, call 911 immediately. Students should download the LiveSafe personal safety app, which can be used to contact Campus Safety or call 911. The app can also be used to submit to campus dispatchers tips such as photos, videos or audio recordings.

Students may request a safety escort 24/7 by calling campus safety dispatch at 717-815-1314 or using LiveSafe.

If you have any information that may be useful to this investigation, please contact the Department of Campus Safety at 717-815-1314 or Spring Garden Township Police at 717-843-0851.

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