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Apartment holdup spree climbs to 13

– The recent series of holdups at apartment complexes reached a total of 13 on Friday afternoon when a man in a black ski mask tried to rob a woman at Gardenview Apartments, Fort Wayne police said.

The woman was leaving her apartment by herself when the man approached her, said officer Raquel Foster, a police spokeswoman.

“She turned around to lock the door, and this guy’s just there” in the foyer of the building, Foster said.

The man, who demanded items from the woman, had his hand in his pocket suggesting he had a weapon but did not show one.

“She screamed, and he just took off running,” Foster said.

The woman was not hurt, and the man did not take anything. Police were sent to the complex at 5209 N. Clinton St., near East Washington Center Road, about 2:45 p.m.

Along with the black ski mask, the man was wearing blue jeans and a dark blue hooded sweatshirt. He was described as possibly white or Hispanic.

In some ways, Friday’s robbery try was similar to another attempted holdup reported Tuesday morning at Gardenview Apartments, Foster said.

In that case, a woman was returning to her apartment alone when a man, not displaying a weapon, approached her in her building and demanded money, police said.

The man forced his way into the woman’s apartment, picked up a large kitchen knife and stabbed her in the stomach, seriously injuring her, police said. During the attack, the woman triggered her vehicle’s panic alarm, and the man fled without taking anything.

In the string of 13 robberies, certain apartment complexes have seen multiple holdups, but with four reported, Gardenview Apartments has had more than any other complex.

In response to the robberies, the Apartment Association of Fort Wayne-NE Indiana issued a statement Friday urging apartment residents to be aware of their surroundings and to report suspicious people and activity to police and property managers.

Descriptions of suspicious people and their vehicles, including the make, model, color and license plate numbers, will help police, the statement said.

The robberies started Jan. 7, and victims have usually been alone at night in parking lots or near building entrances. In two cases, robbers tied up victims and beat them. Similar details suggest the robberies are related, but investigators have not found a definitive link between them.

Because of differences in the descriptions of robbers and other facts, police do not believe the same one or two people are committing all the holdups.

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