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Police: Armed robbery at California apartment house drug-related

An armed robbery at an off-campus apartment building was drug related, California borough police reported.

California University of Pennsylvania used its website late Monday to alert students to the incident at 348 Second St., saying:

“At approximately 9:30 p.m. Monday, an armed robbery occurred off campus at a residential apartment on Second Street in California Borough.

“The perpetrators have not been apprehended and were last seen in the area of Second and Wood streets.

“The perpetrators are described as two black males in their late teens to early twenties.

“Both are of thin build, wearing all black clothing, one with a white bandana over his face. Both suspects were armed with handguns.”

The website posting noted that university police are cooperating with the investigation by borough police.

California acting police Chief Tracy Hudak-Vitale said the suspects and victims knew each other, calling it a “drug deal gone bad.”

Hudak-Vitale said a drug supplier from Monessen, along with two other suspects, came to the apartment specifically to collect money allegedly owed for drug sales.

The suspects knocked on the door of the apartment which was occupied by three university students.

When the door was opened, the suspects took the one male into a bedroom, where he opened a safe and gave them $850 in cash and two ounces of marijuana.

Hudak-Vitale said there are conflicting reports whether one or two of the men carried handguns.

No charges have been filed yet, the chief said, adding that police are still investigating the incident.

University spokeswoman Christine Kindl declined further comment on the incident, saying she “had not been in direct touch with police this morning.”


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