Police: 11 Winthrop students were pistol-whipped before suspects fired gun

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comOctober 28, 2013 

— The 11 Winthrop University students held at gunpoint Friday night while three robbers stole their iPhones were forced onto the ground and pistol-whipped at an off-campus apartment, according to a police report released Monday.

Police were called to an Ebenezer Avenue apartment at about 11 p.m. after receiving reports of an armed robbery, the report states. Police spoke with a 21-year-old student from Lake Wylie who told officers three men approached her and robbed 10 others of their iPhones at gunpoint.

The suspects wore dark clothing with bandanas covering their faces, police said. Several of the victims were struck with pistols, while others were struck before they were forced onto the ground. One of the suspects fired a shot from a semiautomatic pistol.

No serious injuries were reported, the report states.

A K9 unit arrived on scene and tracked one of the suspects for a while until the dogs lost the scent between the former Bleachery site and Laurelwood cemetery on Stewart Avenue, police reported. Two of the victims managed to track their iPhones, and one was recovered on Hutchinson Street.

The incident triggered a widespread Winthrop University alert to all students informing them of the robbery and warning them that the suspects fled toward campus just after midnight. By 1:20 a.m. Saturday, university officials told students that the “perimeter” was secure and the suspects were no longer in the area.

Police have made no arrests in connection with the armed robbery and iPhone thefts, but are still investigating, said Rock Hill Police Executive Officer Mark Bollinger.

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