At around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, a female student was robbed of her purse at gunpoint by two young men in the M-2 Lincoln Avenue parking deck at Youngstown State University.
“There were two suspects, as you probably saw when the YSU alert was sent out. Within a fairly short period of time one of the suspects was apprehended,” Ron Cole, YSU’s Public Information Officer, said. “There were no injuries.”
YSU Police Chief John Beshara said that both suspects have now been brought into custody.
“One of our officers, a short time after, observed what he thought to be the suspects down in the area of the parking lots off of Wood Street,” Beshara said. “As he approached the suspects in the car, they took off on foot and split up.”
With the help of the Youngstown Police Department and the Struthers Police Department’s canine unit, one suspect was arrested after a short pursuit through the Smokey Hollow neighborhood, and his weapon was recovered as evidence. Though the second suspect successfully fled from the initial pursuit, he was apprehended and brought in for custody Wednesday morning.
“The investigation continued,” Beshara said. “Through that investigation we, today, have a second suspect in custody.”
This recent crime comes after a string of similar robberies in the area surrounding YSU, though, unlike the others, this incident occurred both on campus and during the day. Beshara, however, does not believe that this robbery is related to the others.
“This is a violent crime, which are few and far between, and I believe to be an isolated incident. Just somebody walking by and saw an opportunity,” Beshara said. “Unfortunately, this particular isolated incident, it happened. There was no way of preventing it.”
Beshara also offered advice to students concerned about their safety on campus.
“It is hard in today’s fast-paced world, but people need to stay in the moment; they need to be aware, or try to be as aware as they can be about their surroundings,” Beshara said. “Our community, our student, faculty, staff and our visitors need to be aware that there is crime here as well.”
Beshara said both suspects are juveniles. The first suspect is 16 years of age, while the exact age of the second suspect is not yet known.
Additional Reporting by Frank George.