Update: Police are holding two suspects. They were arrested on unrelated charges, but some of the USC students' loot was in their possession, KTLA reports.
Three male University of Southern California students were reminded they kinda live in South L.A. last night, when a group of up to four robbers (still on the loose) demanded money and valuables at gunpoint.
KNX news radio reports that all the students were within a couple miles of campus, between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., when the suspects approached and asked for their cash, phones, wristwatches, etc. LAPD investigators think the same guys are responsible for all three crimes.
Here's where the robberies went down, according to KTLA:
• The 1100 block of West 29th Street, at 9:15 p.m.
• The 2700 block of South Hoover Street, at 9:20 p.m.
• The 2700 block of Ellendale Place, at 9:35 p.m.
The University of Southern California, for all its private-school prestige, is plopped smack-dab in the middle of the ghetto (or, as the USC website puts it, “the heart of Los Angeles.”) There are worse parts of L.A. for sure, but the bougie architecture and hordes of upper-middle-class preps are a stark contrast to the very, well, real West Adams neighborhood.
KTLA puts it subtly:
Investigators do not think the robberies are gang-related. Instead, they think the suspects are simply taking advantage of the campus community.
Students are being advised to walk in groups or take campus transportation.
The Los Angeles Times reports that violent crime in West Adams has been at an unusual high for the last three months, “recording 12 reports compared with a weekly average of 2.9.”
Two similar robberies at gunpoint took place during Spring Break 2008, when USC students were actually approached while studying on (a mostly vacant) campus.
Do you live near campus? Do you feel safe? Let us know.