North Side robberies probed

Police: Robberies were crimes of opportunity

Police: Robberies were crimes of opportunity


Detectives think the string of robberies late Saturday and early Sunday on the North Side were crimes of opportunity.

Chief of Detectives Capt. Mark Milstead said there are suspects in the three robberies that happened between 10:15 p.m. Saturday and 2:25 a.m. Sunday. He said it appears that the crimes were crimes of opportunity and not planned far in advance because the victims were all people who were outside late at night.

The area has been full of students from Youngstown State University who are returning for the start of fall classes this week, and Milstead said because of that there were plenty of people around for someone to try and rob.

The descriptions in two of the three robberies are similar, Milstead said.

The first robbery was of a 24-year-old man who was in a driveway on Broadway Avenue. Two males wearing all black clothing who cut through several back yards walked up to him, pulled a gun, ordered him on the ground and took his wallet out of his pockets, reports said.

At 11:25 p.m. Saturday an 18-year-old woman who said she was just coming home to a house on Fifth Avenue said a man dressed in all black was in her drive. The man surprised her, took her purse and took $17 from it, reports said. Another male showed up just seconds after the first one, reports said. The woman said she did not see a weapon.

The final robbery was about 2:25 a.m. Sunday at Ford and Alameda avenues. A 22-year-old man said he was leaving a house on Redondo Road when two men, one of them with a gun, appeared next to his car and ordered him out. They took $80 from the victim, reports said.

YSU police Chief John Beshara said students were notified via the university’s alert system of the off campus robbery on Broadway Avenue because the home where it occurred is a fraternity house. He said the other two robberies were not posted on the school’s warning system because they were further north of the campus.

Beshara said his department does have extra patrols out to keep an eye on things.

Police in the area arrested a Warren man on firearms charges late Sunday evening as well. An officer was on patrol on Dennick Avenue near Ohio Avenue about 10:45 p.m. when he spotted three men walking in the roadway, reports state, and he stopped to talk to them.

The report also noted that officers were urged to be more vigilant because of three robberies on the North Side the night before.

One of the men, William Key, 26, had a strong odor of marijuana on him, reports state. And, Kenneth Key, 28, of Hollywood Street Northeast in Warren and another man were wearing bulky winter coats despite a muggy evening.

When an officer tried to search Kenneth Key, he pulled away and tried to walk away before he was pinned against a cruiser and admitted he had a gun, reports said. Reports said the gun was loaded with 10 rounds.

The other man with the coat ran away and an officer spotted him crawl out from underneath a parked truck on Dennick Avenue with a gun in his hand, but officers could not catch him. They did, however, have his wallet and state of Tennessee identification card, reports said. William Key was cited for marijuana possession and Kenneth Key was taken to the Mahoning County jail on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

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