Police Believe Crime Wave Began Near UofL Campus - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Police Believe Crime Wave Began Near UofL Campus

By James Zambroski

(LOUISVILLE) -- Police say a crime wave terrorizing apartment complex dwellers city wide appears to be connected to the same gang of criminals. Masked armed robbers have terrorized at least 40 victims and police say they have no suspects and only a few leads. WAVE 3 Investigator James Zambroski reports.

The spree of armed robberies has been going on since February. At least 40 victims have been identified, including two people who were shot and two who were victims of sexual assault over the weekend.

LMPD Capt. Gene Sherrard told reporters Monday afternoon that police have no suspects, only sketchy descriptions and little evidence.

But patterns, including time of day, disguises and other facts indicate the attacks are being carried out by the same group of individuals.

"There are striking similarities in many of the cases, so that's why we've come forward to the public today," Sherrard said.

Sherrard says another reason police have come forward without any suspects or arrests is the violent turn the spree took over the weekend.

"What has caused us great concern is over the past few days, we had a couple of sexual assaults associated with robberies," he said.

Zack, a graduate student at UofL, lives in the University Park Apartments on Eastern Parkway. He and friends were robbed earlier this year.

"Coming back from 4th Street, some guys had jumped out beside a car, they put my buddy at gunpoint and I took off up the stairs," he said.

Sherrard confirmed that the spree appears to have started near the UofL campus.

"If they are related, it seems that the pattern got its inception in that area," he said.

Another similarity is that the suspects, who generally work in groups, are African Americans, wearing dark clothing and masks, are always armed.

"These offenders are armed, normally with handguns," Sherrard said. "They threaten violence, as I've indicated before, they've shot two people."

One victim was shot in the buttocks, another in the arm; both as they tried to flee the robbers, Sherrard said.

Another pattern that appears to link the crimes is the time of day they occur, Sherrard said.

"Predominately between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., but we have had times vary on that as well," he said. "Every day of the week, we've had offenses."

One resident of the Woodsmill apartment complex off Poplar Level Road said she's angry and afraid, declining to show her face on camera for an interview.

"I'm a single female; I live in the complex alone. I'm afraid that if I'm seen, you know, anything's possible," she said.

There are the usual commonsense tips for your safety, but if you live in an apartment complex, be aware of your surroundings, especially at night, and if you see anything at all out of the ordinary, no matter how small it may seem, call police immediately.

Online Reporter: James Zambroski

Online Producer: Michael Dever

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