DPS: robberies ‘unrelated’ to ATO incident

More details have emerged about the three men who robbed multiple students inside the Alpha Tau Omega house Friday night, Department of Public Safety officials said. The robbery is one of four in the past week.

DPS Capt. David Carlisle said three black males entered ATO around 9:20 p.m., told those in the house they had a weapon — though no weapon was seen — and demanded property.

“Three suspects entered, indicating they were looking for someone, but the victims didn’t know who it was,” Carlisle said. “Then [the suspects] said they had a weapon and demanded their property.”

The victims complied, handing over wallets and money. Though there were three people in the ATO house at the time of the robbery, it is unclear whether or not they all lost property, Carlisle said.

In addition to wallets, Carlisle said the suspects also took electronic equipment, including a flat panel monitor and a television, and then fled to a vehicle in a nearby alley.

Carlisle said that, though the suspects claimed to have at least one weapon, and might have simulated one, no weapon was actually seen by the victims.

“Whether a gun was seen or not, it concerns us greatly,” Carlisle said. “Any robbery is a very serious matter.”

Though the robbery occurred inside the ATO house, Carlisle said the victims were not members of the fraternity, as the house is leased out during the summer.

“We don’t think it was the fraternity that was actually targeted,” Carlisle said.

It is not clear how the suspects entered the house, but Carlisle said, at this point, DPS believes the door was unlocked.

Though sorority houses on The Row are often staffed by security guards — who could have seen the suspects enter ATO — Carlisle said few houses employ security guards during the summer. The ATO house is also not equipped with security cameras, as some houses on The Row are.

The ATO robbery was the third in four days in the USC area, and was followed by a fourth on June 7, though Carlisle said ATO appears to be an unrelated incident.

DPS reported two robberies early last week — one on Ellendale Street at 9:30 p.m. on June 2, the other on the W. 27th Street at 9:44 a.m. on June 3 — but said neither appears to be connected to the robbery at ATO. In both of the earlier incidents, only was suspect was involved and a weapon was displayed.

DPS also reported a robbery on June 7, two days after the ATO robbery, in which a victim sitting on his front porch on 27th Street was approached by a suspect displaying part of gun. The suspect followed the victim into his apartment and removed his property.

No arrests have been made in any of these robberies, Carlisle said.