TU Alert: Armed robbery during drug purchase

Temple Police sent an alert to students at around 5 p.m.

Police are searching for three unidentified men after a drug purchase did not go as planned, officials said.

Temple Police sent a TU Alert to students just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, warning them to avoid the area around N. 17th Street near Diamond. The alert included a description of the men.

The three men entered a house in order to purchase drug paraphernalia, said Charlie Leone, the executive director of Campus Safety Services. He said the men were inside the home talking with the residents and then tried to leave without paying for the paraphernalia. The men then showed a gun and ran out of the house with the paraphernalia, he said. Leone said the men were known to one of the people living in the house.

One of the three men was heavyset and wore a Pottstown sweatshirt, the second had a thin build with blond hair and wore a black jacket with a white tank top underneath and a large belt buckle and the third man wore a blue hooded sweatshirt, he added.

The original description of the men sent to students had several typos and phrasing often used in police reports. The man wearing the white tank top was originally described by police to be wearing a “wife beater,” a slang term for a white tank top. This word choice is something Temple Police regret, Leone said.

“Unfortunately, with trying to get the description out quickly, some typos occurred,” Leone said. “There was also the term ‘wife beater’ used to describe the shirt worn. This was totally insensitive and I apologize [for] its use in the text.”

He said that this TU Alert and its “improper use of descriptive language” will be used while training Temple Police’s team that issues the alerts.

Julie Christie can be reached at julie.christie@temple.edu or on Twitter @ChristieJules.

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