Just before midnight on Thursday, Nov. 1, Sterling Street near Haddon Avenue was awash with the flashing blue and red of police cruisers, which were responding to an armed robbery incident at a Westdale student house.

In the home, four males and one female, ages 20-22, were taken by surprise when suspects described to Hamilton police as all male, black and in their early twenties entered the premises. One suspect armed with a knife and another, allegedly, with a firearm demanded that the students empty their pockets and turn over all their belongings.

“The targeted items that were taken were electronic items and cash,” said Sergeant Terri Lynn Collings of Hamilton Police Services. The people in the home complied with the intruders’ demands, and then the suspects fled from the home.

Although the burglars were carrying weapons, the students were not injured and did not require medical attention when emergency services arrived.

Lydia Vanderkooy, an upper-year McMaster student who resides near the house, commented that there “must have been about 20 cops cars lining the street on Sterling from Haddon to Cline area.”

The normally safe area of Westdale has been the target of several alarming incidents of late, most notably the sexual predator who was reported in the area in July and the petty thief who mugged several Hamiltonians in August.

As of Nov. 7, no suspects had been apprehended for the armed robbery, and police were still piecing together the details.

“We’re continuing to find out exactly what happened there, and why,” said Collings.

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