Police investigating third home invasion this month at Temple off-campus housing

Authorities are exploring the possibility that three home invasions targeting Temple University students living in off-campus housing could be connected. 

The spate of home invasions started in the early morning hours of Nov. 9 when police say three armed suspects entered a home on the 1900 block of North 18th Street through an unlocked door.

Police say the suspects awoke three sleeping residents and stole money, phones, keys and credit cards. No injuries were reported. 

Two days later, officers were called to an off-campus property on the 1300 block of North 15th Street after nearly a dozen residents were lead to the basement and tied up by two armed suspects. 


It's believed by police that 11 people - all between the ages of 20 and 22 - were asleep when the armed suspects entered the residence. 

The intruders stole money, phones, credit and debit cards, and fled in a Lincoln MKZ that belonged to one of the residents. 

Temple University said the incident happened outside the university's patrol zone and a spokesperson highlighted the institution's Best Nest program, meant to help students find off-campus housing that is within the Temple University Police Department's designated patrol area. 

"Violence against one of us affects all of us," Vice President for Public Safety Jennifer Griffin said. "Any incident affecting a member of our community is treated with the utmost care and concern."

More than a week later, police say at least one Temple University student was among a group of four residents who were awoken by home invaders who trapped them all in the bathroom.

"I was asleep and somebody just tapped me to wake me up," a student who asked to remain anonymous said. "They just told me to get up, go upstairs and wake up my roommate, whatever they were doing it seemed like they had done it before, so it was nothing new."

The suspects - one of whom was armed with an Uzi - stole a Glock 19, iPhones, Apple watches, an iPad and a MacBook Pro, according to police. 

"I just tried to keep everybody calm in the bathroom and told them just take whatever you want," the student said.

During a Monday afternoon press conference, Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore said police are exploring the possibility that all three robberies are connected. 

"They were obviously targeted in the same way as the others, we're obviously looking at this to be a pattern or connected to other cases," Vanore told reporters. "It appears they are targeting the same type of victims, in this case, young people living in that particular area that aren't all from that area, they're renting."

The Philadelphia Police Department shared video of the suspects wanted in the Nov. 11 home invasion. Vanore said some of the video was taken from a Philadelphia business where the suspects allegedly tried to make a purchase using a card stolen in the home invasion.

"They're brazen, it's obvious, and they're not afraid and we see that a lot these days," Vanore said. "I hope to meet them real soon and we'll see how jovial they are."