10:04 a.m., Dec. 1, 2009----Newark Police are investigating a home invasion-style robbery that occurred around 1:20 a.m., Monday, Nov. 30 at an apartment in University Courtyard Apartments on Scholar Drive in Newark. The victims--four residents of the apartment and two visitors--are all University of Delaware students.
According to police, after hearing noises in the hallway, one of the apartment residents opened the door slightly, and four suspects pushed the door open and entered the apartment. The six students were gathered in the living room, where their hands were bound and their mouths covered with duct tape. Two of the suspects were armed with black pistols, and another had a knife.
The suspects searched the apartment and repeatedly asked questions about the location of illegal drugs and cash within the residence. The suspects removed a safe and other personal items from the apartment. They fled carrying two dark-colored backpacks, one camouflage backpack and a pillowcase and are believed to have gotten into a silver, four-door, newer model car with dark windows that was parked south of the complex. After the suspects left, one of the victims freed himself and called for help.
Newark Police report that there is no indication that illegal drugs are sold from the apartment, but they said it is now known that marijuana was openly used in the apartment. Based on the suspects' demand for drugs and money, police are developing two investigative scenarios: that the suspects were aware of the drug use and assumed drug sales were occurring, or that the suspects intended to rob another apartment, but got the wrong location.
Police said the same apartment was burglarized between Wednesday and Saturday, Nov. 25 and 28, when none of the residents were at home. During that crime, the apartment appeared to have been searched for specific items. Nothing of great value was taken, and property typically stolen during burglaries was left behind. Police are investigating a relationship between the two incidents.
Suspects are described as three white males and one black male, all 20 to 25 years of age, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, with average builds and wearing baggy blue jeans. One was wearing a Phillies hat, and another suspect had a bandana covering the lower portion of his face. There are no known suspects.
Of the four male victims who reside at the apartment, three are 19 and one is 20. The other two victims are 18-year-old female guests who do not live in the complex. One of the women was struck with the door when it was pushed open, causing bruising near her eye. No other injuries occurred during the incident.
Anyone with information about these crimes should contact Detective Michael Watson at (302) 366-7110, ext. 133, or by e-mail at [Michael.Watson@cj.state.de.us]. Information can be texted to302NPD, with the tip sent to TIP411 (847411), and also can be reported anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 800-TIP-3333, where a reward may be available.