Crooks forced college students to strip down during robbery - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Crooks forced college students to strip down during robbery


Students at a popular apartment complex near Middle Tennessee State University are on edge after two armed robberies in the past few days. In the latest robbery, the crooks forced the victims to strip down to their underwear.

MTSU student Brandon Woodruff, 20, wasn't home when four men with guns forced their way into his unit at the Raiders Ridge Apartments at about 11 p.m. Sunday.

"My roommates had called me and they were like, 'Someone just broke into our house and took everything at gunpoint,'" Woodruff said.

At first, he thought his roommates were joking.

"I said, 'Quit playing, you're joking,'" Woodruff said.

But it wasn't a joke. The robbers made Woodruff's roommates strip down to their underwear while they burglarized the apartment.

The victims, who are also MTSU students, said the crooks then told them they would "kill them" if they called police. One victim told police he thought he was "going to die."

"When you're living somewhere, the only thing you think about is security - a secure place I know I can lay at night and know nothing like this is going to take place," Woodruff said.

The crooks took everything, from an Xbox 360 and a $2,000 MacBook Pro to nine Air Jordan tennis shoes valued over $1,200. The robbers also took clothing and other electronics.

This is the second robbery at the apartment complex in as many days. One of the students' next door neighbors was robbed Saturday in the parking lot.

"That happened first, and I was like 'That's crazy,'" Woodruff said. "So, I automatically assumed - silly me for assuming - that once something like that happened, I don't have to worry about it, because I'm sure some type of precautions were going to be taken to prevent this from happening again."

The students said the security lights in the breezeway are out, so it's extremely dark at light. They are not sure if that's the reason they were targeted.

Neighbor Erik Heller said he's concerned about the recent crime as well.

"There are issues with this apartment complex," said neighbor Erik Heller. "There are issues with break-ins. My car was broken into."

Channel 4 News attempted to talk to apartment management about some of the tenants' concerns, but they had no comment and politely asked us to leave.

The victims describe the home invaders as black men. One was tall with long, dread-lock style hair and last seen wearing a Bob Marley T-shirt. Two of the other criminals looked like twins, according to the incident report.

In the other robbery, the victims said the two men were about 6' tall and about 170 pounds each.

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