Youngstown robbery victim talks about ordeal

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Youngstown police continue to look for two teens they believe have been robbing people at gunpoint on the city’s North Side.

The robberies occurred around the Youngstown State University campus, with several of the victims being students.

“I never really seen a gun from that angle before so obviously it took a moment to register what was going on at first,” said robbery victim John Monroe, a senior at YSU.

Monroe was talking Thursday night about what happened to him early Sunday morning. He was at a friend’s home on Redondo Road near Ford Avenue when he went out to his car to check on his cell phone that he was charging. Two men with scarves around their faces and wearing hats knocked on the car window and pointed a gun at him.

“They told me to give them what I had in my pockets. They had me get out of the car. They searched and found my wallet, took the money and threw the wallet back in the car and then they left on foot,” Monroe said.

Monroe was one of four victims in the recent string of robberies since last weekend. He said instincts just kicked in during the robbery.

“Basically everything was auto pilot, instincts. Just hands up, try not to do anything stupid and they said get out of the car so I just complied and it wasn’t worth it not to,” he said.

Monroe said police responded quickly because they already were in the area scouting for the suspects because of two robberies that occurred earlier in the evening in the same area.

There have been three other robberies, with the latest occuring just after midnight Thursday. Police said two YSU students were robbed at gunpoint in front of 472 Norwood Ave., near Belmont Avenue off the YSU campus.

Police reports stated the first robbery happened Saturday on Broadway Avenue at 10:15 p.m., followed by an incident on Fifth Avenue at 11:30 p.m. and the third at 2:30 a.m. Sunday in which Monroe was robbed.

Youngstown police believe all the incidents are connected.

The suspects are young black males 16 to 18 years old. They were wearing Chicago Bulls hats, red shirts, white pants, and armed with handguns.

While both Youngstown and the YSU police departments have beefed up security around the area, YSU does offer a service for its students.

“We do have a student security escort service if they feel uncomfortable walking back and forth to their cars maybe late at night.  They could give us a call or call the escort service,” said YSU police officer Danica Burrows.

Monroe said he has noticed an increased police presence around campus and in the area surrounding it.

Anyone with information about any of the incidents should contact Youngstown Police at (330)742-8926.

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