Juvenile arrested in string of robberies

By joe gorman



Police found two guns and arrested a 17-year-old male Tuesday morning while looking for two suspects in a string of North Side armed robberies.

Detective Sgt. Mike Lambert got a search warrant for a home in the 200 block of Norwood Avenue and besides the guns, police also found two bandannas that may have been used in one of the robberies, and cellphones and other items linked to the robberies, said Chief of Detectives Capt. Mark Milstead.

Police also are looking for a second juvenile suspect, Milstead said. An arrest report identified the person taken into custody Tuesday as Michael Curry, and when he was searched before being booked into the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center, personnel there found a live .380-caliber cartridge in his pants, reports said.

The area of the North Side heading north toward Gypsy Lane was the scene of at least a half dozen armed robberies and one attempted armed robbery in late August. One of the robberies was in front of a Youngstown State University fraternity house, so students were advised of any robberies close to campus through the university’s alert system.

In the robberies, two armed males in all black clothing with their faces covered, who witnesses said looked like teens, would approach people and demand money. Milstead said they mostly took cash, credit cards and small electronic items, such as iPads or cellphones. He said investigators had an idea shortly after the robberies occurred who was involved.

“We got information early on about these two guys,” Milstead said.

The latest robbery occurred early Monday when two men were robbed in the backyard of a home in the 200 block of Alameda Avenue. Milstead said extensive media coverage of the case and extra patrols from YSU and city police may have kept the robbers from operating. Before Monday, the last robbery was Aug. 22.

“That may have suppressed it,” Milstead said.

Milstead said it took time to build a case because of the way the robbers masked their identities.

The robberies began Aug. 17 on Broadway Avenue, and other robberies occurred on Fifth, Ford and Alameda avenues. The Broadway Avenue home is a fraternity house. A lot of YSU students live on the North Side.

YSU President Randy Dunn said the university was pleased to learn of Tuesday’s arrest. It doesn’t mean, however, that students should stop being vigilant about their own safety, he said.

Students still have to be aware and cognizant of their surroundings, Dunn said.

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