Armed robberies near York College have neighbors, students on edge

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SPRING GARDEN TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- Two armed robberies and a strong arm robbery occurred within weeks of each other near York College.

Police are not sure if the crimes are linked.

The first of the three robberies happened on January 19 on the 400 block of Dupont Avenue in Spring Garden Township.

Martin King said his daughter was going back to her dorm after a night class at York College. A man wearing a black hoodie was hiding in the bushes.

King said, "Pistol whipped her over the head multiple times, grabbed ahold of her, pulled her back into the bushes, and held a gun to her head, and attempted to rape her."

Someone saw it and called fro help, and the man ran away. Police have released surveillance photos of the suspect.

King is now asking the township and the college to better light the street in hopes of preventing this from happening again.
"This particular street has absolutely no lighting whatsoever. Except for it's a small residential block, and there's a few houses that have lights, but they're not lit," King said.

The next robbery was on February 1 on Dupont and Virginia Avenue, where police said the suspect pushed a man down and took cash from his wallet.

Clare Johnston, who lives on Dupont, said, "It's a very unusual thing to happen in this area. And that's why it's so disturbing on Dupont Avenue."

The most recent robbery was on Monday. Police said the victim was struck on the back of the head by two suspects and pushed to the ground. It was on the 400 block of West Jackson Street.

One student who walks these streets said hearing about these robberies makes her uncomfortable.

Corie Elliott said, "Be smart. Just don't walk alone. I mean no matter what time it is, six o'clock, 10 o'clock. I just do not take any chances."

As for the first victim, it's going to take a while for her to recover. Her father is hoping the college and township install the lights in the meantime.

King said, "She has a lot of night classes. So she's withdrawn from the spring semester. She's planning to go back in the fall with the hopes that this is taken care of."

King said college officials were open to lighting the area, but said he has not heard anything from the township yet.