AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University Police are searching for five men who walked into an Ames apartment Thursday afternoon and robbed the residents inside.
Angelo Smith, an ISU sophomore from Ottumwa, said he was studying in his apartment at 4709 Steinbeck St. about 3 p.m. He said he was in his bedroom with the door closed while his roommate was asleep on the couch.
“I heard the door open, and I assumed it was someone I knew,” he said. “I walked out calmly, expecting to see someone I know, and instead I got an assault rifle pointed in my face.”
Smith described the weapon as a large gun, an assault rifle with an extended clip. He said the man with the gun yelled at him and his roommate, telling them to get on the ground while the other men ransacked the apartment.
“They kicked in the doors to all our rooms,” he said. “Went through our drawers, closets. They stole my phone and attempted to steal my laptop.”
That’s when Smith said he got a rush of adrenaline.
“As they were leaving the parking lot, I got in my car and attempted to follow them, but they were gone by the time I even got out there,” Smith said.
He said the men got away with about $100, but Smith is mostly concerned about his phone.
“A lot of important information I need is on that phone since I’m a college student. My life is in my phone,” he said.
Authorities swept Smith’s apartment and tried to collect fingerprints at the scene.
Smith said he’s “extremely confused” by the situation. He said he’s never seen the men before.
The university sent out an alert to students and parents noting the robbery on Steinbeck Street. Smith said he used his roommate’s phone to call his mom after the robbery.
“She texted the phone that was stolen and was wondering why she didn’t get a reply,” he said.
Fortunately, neither Smith nor his roommate was injured during the robbery.
“We were both pretty compliant. I didn’t want to get in the way of a guy with an assault rifle,” he said.
Police said the suspects fled on foot toward South Dakota Avenue. The five suspects are described as black men between the ages of 18 and 20, with height ranging from 5’6” to 6’2”. One male was described as wearing a blue hoodie and gray sweatpants. The other males were wearing dark clothing.
Authorities are urging anyone with information to call ISU Police at 515-294-4428, Ames Police at 515-239-5133 or Story County Crime Stoppers at 515-382-7577.