Armed robbery being examined
Police in Jefferson County are investigating a reported armed robbery at an apartment in Shepherdstown late Monday night.
According to a news release from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, deputies and other law enforcement officers responded to a residence on Hensel Drive at 11:47 p.m. Monday. Deputies were met by four roommates, all of whom are students at Shepherd University.
The residents told police at least five unknown assailants wearing black clothing and masks had kicked in the door of the apartment and ordered them to get on the floor with their faces down. The residents told police at least one of the robbers was armed with a handgun and threatened them. The robbers left with numerous items, the residents said.
According to Jefferson County Sheriff Pete Dougherty, the robbery was not random or a crime of opportunity.
“This was deliberate. It was a well-organized entry and exit and very fast. This was not a sporadic, spur-of-the-moment incident. It was something that had some planning and forethought in place,” Dougherty said.
“There is very good indication the robbers either knew or believed something of great value in that residence; otherwise they wouldn’t have five or more storm in in total black outfits and a firearm,” he said.
According to the witnesses, the robbers were in the house for less than two minutes.
Dougherty said the sheriff’s department is working with campus police for Shepherd University, the Shepherdstown Police Department and the West Virginia State Police.
In response to the robbery, Shepherd University sent out “RAVE Alert” messages to students informing them of the incident. Representatives from the university were unavailable for comment.
“Because of the proximity of the robbery incident to the Shepherd campus, a RAVE text and email alert was sent to students, faculty and staff urging them to use caution and to call 911 if they see any suspicious activity,” said Valerie Owens, executive director of university communications, in an emailed statement.
No arrests have yet been made. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 304-728-3205.
“We do think, given the small nature of the size of the community, there are people out there with information. That’s why we’re asking if anybody knows anything, to contact us so we can further follow up,” Dougherty said.