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Intruders hit Loyalist residence

By Katy Burley, Morgan Davy, Amanda Lorbetski, Shelby Wye and Jack Carver

BELLEVILLE – Loyalist College was swarmed with police Thursday night after disguised intruders believed to have been armed with guns entered a college residence and stole items from the students there.

No one was injured in the incident, Belleville Police reported this morning.

The police say they were dispatched to the new residence complex at the college at about 10:15 p.m. in response to an incident that campus security was responding to.

BELLEVILLE, Ont. (22/11/13) - Members of the Belleville Police and the Ontario Provincial Police block the roadway between Loyalist College and the residence located behind the school. Photo by Victoria Thoms. [1]

BELLEVILLE – Officers with the Belleville Police and the Ontario Provincial Police block the roadway between Loyalist College and the residence located behind the school. Photo by Victoria Thoms.

“Police learned several people entered the residence wearing dark clothing and disguises. These males robbed several occupants of their personal property. It is believed the suspects were in possession of firearms in the commission of the offence. The suspects fled the residence on foot,” said a statement from police issued shortly before 9 a.m.

The Belleville Police emergency-response team, the OPP Eastern Ontario tactical-response unit and the OPP canine unit searched the area, and some of the stolen items were recovered. Most of the items were electronic equipment, Deputy Chief Paul Vandegraaf told QNet News this morning. Police are doing forensics work on the items, he said.

The intruders are still at large, police say.

Vandegraaf told QNet News this morning he could not confirm widely circulated reports that the intruders were the same men who had been asked to leave a residence party last week.

BELLEVILLE, Ont. - Two residence assistants talk to the police blocking the road in between the school and New Residence at Loyalist College. Photo by Jack Carver [2]

BELLEVILLE – Two security guards from the Shark Tank Pub talk to the police blocking the road between the main college building and the new residence complex. Photo by Jack Carver,

Police issued descriptions of two of the men. One is described as being 18 to 25 years old, white, wearing an unzipped black hooded sweatshirt with a red shirt underneath, and blue jeans. He is between 6 feet and 6 feet 3inches tall, with a thin build and a distinctive low voice.

Another is described as being 18 to 25 years old, white, 6 feet 3 inches to 6 feet 5 inches tall, and of stocky build. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with a white shirt underneath and blue jeans.

BELLEVILLE, Ont. - Students walk back home past an Ontario Provincial Police cruiser after Loyalist College entered a lockdown. Photo by Jack Carver [3]

BELLEVILLE – Students walk back to residence past an OPP cruiser. Photo by Jack Carver

The other two men are described as wearing similar black hooded sweatshirts and jeans.

Loyalist College president Maureen Piercy issued a statement to the college community early this afternoon saying that security measures would be adjusted in the coming days as a result of the incident.

“As a public organization, Loyalist College has thorough security protocols and professional security personnel in place. Our first priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff,” Piercy wrote.

“With respect to the incident on campus last evening, we are making adjustments to our security arrangements for the coming days as a prudent measure.”

The Belleville Police are working closely with the college on the case, “and the investigation continues,” Piercy’s memo said.

The campus was awash in unconfirmed reports about the incident last night and this morning.

“There were rumours flying everywhere. People were saying the (intruders) were from Newmarket; some people were saying they had pistols, others said shotguns. People said that these guys pointed guns to people’s heads,” second-year journalism student Riley Maracle told QNet News.

Maracle was among students at the college’s Shark Tank pub who were told they could not leave the pub unless they went in groups of three.

Here’s what Deputy Police Chief Vandegraaf told Erin Stewart of QNet News this morning:

http://www.qnetnews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/qnetnews-loyalist-robbery-deputy-paul-vandergraaf1.mp3 [4]

If you have any information about the incident, please email qnetnewsdesk@gmail.com.

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