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UPDATE: Rutgers University Police Department issued an email crime alert for the incident at 4:32pm, and a Nixle emergency alert at 5:20pm.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police and their counterparts from Rutgers University responded to a home invasion robbery reported to have occurred on Robinson Street in the student-dominated Sixth Ward.
The initial investigation has revealed the suspects, who escaped before police arrived, had targeted the home because they expected they would find a lot of cash and drugs. No one was injured, but the situation was tense, according to police radio transmissions.
According to the transmissions, a caller to NBPD headquarters said that he heard a male telling the residents of the downstairs apartment “telling everyone to get down on the floor and put everything in the bag.”
“Investigating detectives have determined that the suspect specifically targeted the house on Robinson Street for the amount of cash and drugs inside,” reads an NBPD press release issued less than twelve hours after the crime was reported.
The residents of the Robinson Street house are members of the Rutgers University TKE fraternity. Four of them were home, along with four Rutgers students guests at the time of the robbery.
“An initial reluctance to cooperate by the victims has slowed down the investigation,” reads the NBPD release.
“The possibility of criminal charges against the victims and/or occupants of the residence are pending further investigation.”
Even though police did not locate the suspects, Rutgers University has not yet issued a crime alert in what appeared to be another departure from a pledge they made one year ago to issue alerts about “serious crimes” in the Fifth and Sixth Wards.
That decision came after the university was widely criticized for remaining quiet after the body of a former student was found in a backyard on Hartwell Street, one block over from Robinson.
Rutgers Public Safety Director Kenneth Cop has not responded to multiple inquiries from New Brunswick Today about the lack of crime alerts in recent shootings, stabbings, assaults, and other seemingly serious incidents.
Victims described the suspect as “a light skinned African American male, wearing dark clothing, and brandishing a handgun,” according to the NBPD press release.
“As detectives conducted their investigation they observed large quantities of cash along with drugs and drug paraphernalia in certain areas of the house.”
Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact Detective Dave Smith at (732) 745-5217.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.