Three USC students were held at gunpoint early Thursday morning when a group of armed robbers entered their apartment and stole thousands of dollars worth of electronics.
Just before 5 a.m., one of the robbers climbed onto the second-story balcony of the 29th Street apartment and entered through an unlocked sliding door, according to USC’s Department of Public Safety.
After putting his gun to a student’s head and leading him into the living room, the robber unlocked the front door for at least one accomplice.
The robbers, wearing dark clothing, then woke up two other students, forced them into the living room and instructed them to lie face down on the floor.
While at least one robber gathered the property — which included two laptops and some sound mixing equipment — another guarded the students, holding them on the floor at gunpoint.
After they took the valuables, the men fled the scene on foot. The students called the Los Angeles Police Department immediately.
DPS Capt. David Carlisle said this robbery was abnormal because of the time it occurred.
“It is unusual for a robbery to occur that late in the morning,” Carlisle said.
USC recently began placing security guards at some street corners near campus to reduce crime, but the guards were off duty at the time the robbery occurred.
The guards were added in the wake of a series of high-profile crime incidents that occurred over the last year.
LAPD robbery detectives are currently investigating. According to Carlisle, LAPD also brought in additional resources to assist in the investigation. The investigation is being led by Det. Flores of the LAPD Southwest division.
Denzil Suite, associate vice president for the Office of Student Affairs, stressed the importance of staying generally alert, and said counseling and other resources are available for victims and family if needed.
“This is a situation that is fairly unusual for us,” Suite said. “…But as always I think it’s a reminder we all need to be vigilant about safety at any point.”