Cops to beef up North Side patrols again

By Joe Gorman


Police will be adding extra patrols to the North Side again after an armed robbery of some Youngstown State University students over the weekend.

Police Chief Rod Foley said Monday that investigators had a feeling two juveniles they arrested last month after a similar string of attacks had help, and he thinks Sunday morning’s robbery confirms that.

“We had a feeling we didn’t get all of them,” Foley said.

The four YSU students said they were robbed early Sunday as they were on the back steps of a home in the 1600 block of Fifth Avenue. There were five or six juveniles dressed in black with their faces covered, the victims said. Reports said one of the men thought they heard the safety on a gun being pulled back.

Cash and cigarettes were taken, reports said.

Foley said the crime is similar to the earlier ones in which two juvenile suspects are in custody.

Michael Curry, 17, and Laekwon Brown, 16, were arrested Sept. 10 and 12, respectively.

Before Curry and Brown were arrested, city police, along with YSU police and deputies from the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, ran extra patrols in the area and made arrests of other people for weapons and drugs. Foley says he wants to start those patrols again.

“We’re definitely going to make sure we have higher visibility,” Foley said.

Regarding the robberies in which Curry and Brown were arrested, two armed males in black clothing with their faces covered, who witnesses said looked like teens, would approach people and demand money. Investigators said they mostly took cash, credit cards and small electronic items, such as iPads or cellphones. Police said investigators had an idea shortly after the robberies occurred of who was involved.

Most of the robberies took place in mid- to late August when YSU students returned for the fall semester. The last one occurred Sept. 9, and Curry was arrested two days later after a search warrant was served at his house. Among the items found by police were two guns, cellphones and clothing linked to the robberies.

Brown and Curry each had pretrial hearings in juvenile court last week and are due in court again later this month.

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