Tuesday evening, Southeastern Oklahoma State University sent out an advisory via text message, email and telephone, that warned of armed home invasions that had happened near the campus sometime in the previous 24 hours.
Durant Police said that early Tuesday morning, three attempted robberies had been reported and that the victims said four or five black males wearing all-black clothing and masks over their faces had knocked on front doors. When the people opened the door, the males forced their way in at gunpoint, made all the occupants go into the living room, and demanded money and cell phones, although nothing was taken.
Police also received reports of three additional attempts that occurred in the same area, during the same time frame, but when the occupants saw the men outside, they did not open their doors.
All of the incidents happened near the SE campus, including Shady Brook Apartments, Walnut Street and Olivia Street.
Wednesday's investigation revealed that the robberies were perhaps committed as a hoax, according to Detective Drew Hale, who said at least one suspect has been questioned.
"Right now the investigation is indicating that this was possibly an April Fools' joke," Hale said. "It did happen but some people are saying they did it as an April Fool's joke."
Regardless, Hale said a crime did occur and he expects charges to be filed although that decision will be made by District Attorney Emily Redman.
"At worst, robbery (charges)," Hale said. "If they (the victims) were in fear, then that fits a robbery."
Hale said burglary charges would be another possibility and that the case remains under investigation.
"If it is a prank, it is a really terrible prank," Hale said.
(c)2013 the Durant Daily Democrat (Durant, Okla.)
Visit the Durant Daily Democrat (Durant, Okla.) at www.durantdemocrat.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
A service of YellowBrix, Inc.