Despite a relatively safe Homecoming weekend, one incident of concern in the community is being investigated.
A carjacking occurred in the parking lot south of 220 West Ave. in Indiana shortly after 8 p.m. The Indiana Borough Police Department (IBPD) responded and located the victims.
According to a press release from the IBPD, the victim was identified as an 18-year-old IUP student. The passenger in the vehicle was also an IUP student. The victims said that they were approached by a group of three men and were told to hand over the keys.
After initially refusing, one of the assailants pulled up his waistband to expose a handgun at which point the driver handed over his keys.
The victim exited the car, and all three assailants got into the vehicle.
According to the press release, the suspect drove north onto West Avenue and then continued westbound on School Street toward Oakland Avenue.
“The stolen vehicle was a 2011 Toyota Camry with a Pennsylvania license plate: KDW5596,” Justin Schawl, IBPD chief, said.
Schawl said that incidents like this are not very common in the area, but the community is not immune to these types of events.
“Large crowds, increased alcohol consumption, high volumes of visitor traffic and increases in late-night activity leave no community immune to occasions of serious crime or tragedy,” he said.
“Although this incident occurred near campus and within Indiana Borough, neither are locations in which robbery nor acts of stranger violence occur frequently.
“No one within Indiana Borough or IUP’s campus should consider this common or accepted conduct.”
Authorities are investigating the incident and asking students with information to come forward.
“Any student with information regarding this incident should contact Indiana Borough Police Department at (724) 349-2121.
“We can also be reached in person at 80 North 8th St., Indiana, Pa., or will respond to any campus location to gather the information,” Schawl said.
There are three suspects in this case, and all of them are male. Digital images of the suspects can be found at https://twitter.com/IndianaBorough/status/1445805796487405568. The photos can also be found on The Penn’s website along with this article.
“We are now seeking public support with their identities and travels before/after the event,” Schawl said.
“It is possible that students were engaging with the three [suspects] before the robbery occurred and during Homecoming weekend activities.”
Anyone who recognizes the suspects should contact the IBPD immediately.
No suspects have been identified as of this time.
The IBPD will continue to investigate this incident until a resolution is reached.