Armed Robbery at Watson

By: Miranda Keeler

Four out-of-state individuals armed with guns were arrested by the Oskaloosa Police Department after victimizing three William Penn University students on Monday, Nov. 14.

The incident occurred at the Watson Hall dormitory around 11:30 p.m., according to the OPD.

After receiving a call to the university, it was reported that the suspects left the university in a vehicle. The officers then located and stopped the suspect vehicle in the 1800 block of South Market Street, according to the OPD.

The four individuals were found in the vehicle with two “hand guns” and were charged with three counts of first degree robbery and possession of a controlled substance.

Oskaloosa Police Chief Jake McGee says there were tennis shoes, “Xboxes,” phones, and “maybe” 50 dollars in cash taken during the attempted robbery at Watson.

Despite the police department identifying a total of three William Penn students being victimized throughout the incident, McGee says the incident was targeted at one William Penn student.

“What we think happened is this was a retaliatory crime where the victim in the robbery was actually down in Kansas City a week or so ago. And one of the people we arrested alleged that he (the victim) took 2,000 dollars in cash from her, and they were up here trying to get the money back,” McGee says.

The four individuals, three male and one female, are reportedly from the Kansas City, Mo. area, according to the OPD.

William Penn released the following statement regarding the incident:

“This was not a random incident and one of the victims knew the suspects. We are taking the matter seriously and will promptly and thoroughly investigate this incident through applicable university channels, as well as give full cooperation to the local law enforcement. We would like to assure our students and the general public that the university campus is a safe and secure place.”

The university said the four arrested individuals were not affiliated with William Penn. The Chronicle, and affiliates, can confirm that two of the four individuals are currently enrolled at Avila University, which is located in Kansas City.

“We recently became aware of the incident at William Penn University involving two of our students and while we do not yet know the details, we are deeply concerned about the alleged behavior of these individuals,” says Avila Senior Director of Marketing and Communications Darren Roubinek. “The students were not at William Penn for any university-related activities and we are truly thankful that no one was injured during the incident.”

As of Tuesday, Nov. 15, Chief McGee says the four individuals are still in jail and have “a $75,000 bond each.” Robbery in the first degree is a class “B” felony. Possession of a controlled substance is a serious misdemeanor.

A further investigation is pending with this incident with the Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office and the OPD.

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