Eric Frein in Custody

Robberies Reported On Two Wilkes-Barre Campuses

WILKES-BARRE — Two college students were injured by robbers on two different campuses in the city of Wilkes-Barre.

Within the span of an hour Tuesday night, police in Luzerne County said two college students were robbed of their cell phones. One student was on the King’s College campus, the other at Wilkes University.

Both victims were roughed up during the robberies, and police said a gun was pointed at one student.

The two crimes in Wilkes-Barre happened about a mile apart between 9:30 and 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Police said the descriptions of at least five robbers in each case are very similar, but they won’t say these cases are definitely connected.

Now, both universities are warning students to keep their cell phones and earbuds out of view after dark.

According to police, a teen who asked to borrow a King’s College student’s cell phone, ran off with it on West Jackson Street. When the student chased the robber behind the gymnasium, several other young men were waiting and jumped the undergrad. The 20 year old from Maryland was hit several times and his cell phone was stolen.

“Usually you hear about things on different streets, but this is right on campus. This is how I go to the library and cafeteria and my friend’s houses. It was just very scary for it to be so close,” said Gianna Cordasco, a King’s College junior.

About a half hour earlier on the Wilkes University campus, police said a 20-year-old student refused to give up his phone. That’s when police said, one of the robbers pulled out a handgun, and the rest of the young men kicked him to the ground.

“We just saw a guy, like, sitting in the greenway with public safety just handing him tissues. Then we heard the sirens,” recalled Wilkes freshman Kayle Granger.

Granger and her friends said they heard the chaos outside Evans Residence Hall on West Northampton Street. They said the rain washed off the blood that was on the concrete. Now, there are warnings posted on the door to the undergrad dorm urging Wilkes students to hide their electronics and stick together after dark.

“It’s horrible! We get the text and it’s scary. Everyone’s like ‘stay in, don’t go out, buddy system always,'” said Wilkes freshman Megan Powers.

Police said a witness is helping to try to identify one of the men involved in the robbery at King’s College.

Both campuses are checking their surveillance video for any leads. Investigators said both students were checked out for minor injuries, but they are expected to be OK.

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