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UCLA students tied up during armed robbery

March 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Police are looking for as many as four armed men in connection with a home invasion robbery near the University of California, Los Angeles campus early Thursday morning. The suspects allegedly tied up and robbed six students who were studying inside the residence.The home invasion occurred at around 1 a.m. at the Midvale Plaza Apartments at 527 Midvale Avenue, near Sunset Boulevard and Veteran Avenue.

There were six students inside the second-floor apartment when the suspects burst in through an unlocked door. The suspects forced the students onto the floor and then used shoelaces and other materials to tie them up.

"This other guy came in and told me to get on the floor, he had a knife. So we all got on the floor, they bound our hands behind us and they covered us with blankets," said one of the victims who did not want to be identified. "They started looking for something; they turned the apartment upside-down. They kept threatening us, saying if we moved they would hurt us in various ways."

The victims say there were at least two and possibly as many as four suspects, and at least one was carrying a shotgun. After the suspects left, one of the victims managed to free himself and went to a neighbor for help.

"[I asked] what's going on. And it's my neighbor and he's like 'Dude can I use your phone to call 911? Someone just broke into our place.' It's just crazy," said "Noel."

Police say the suspects got away with laptops, cell phones and an unknown amount of cash.

Police were inside the apartment for several hours Thursday morning, collecting evidence and interviewing the victims.

Though the building has security at all the entrances, somehow the suspects were able to get inside, and that has other residents concerned.

"To hear that is very shocking because I mean all the entrances are locked. Only residents have keys and for somebody to get in like that it's just kind of frightening, especially being a woman in L.A.," said resident Amanda Rocha.

The victims were shaken up, but they were not injured in the home invasion.

If you have any information that could help police track these robbery suspects, call LAPD at 1-877-527-3247.