Monterey County

Monterey Peninsula College on lockdown

Reports of an armed robbery cause college and police to take action.

MONTEREY, Calif.—Reports came in March 7 that robbery suspects had entered the Monterey Peninsula College campus. This came after a victim reported being robbed by two suspects, one of them armed, while sitting in his car near Fish Net Road and Iris Canyon. The Monterey police contacted MPC, and told them to go on lockdown.The lockdown was lifted around 1 p.m. Friday afternoon.

Prior to the lockdown being lifted, the campus looked deserted, granted it was a Friday afternoon, that wasn't the reason.

Police were wrapping up their investigation with the victim who had called in saying he was robbed.

"The alleged victim indicated he had been robbed when sitting in a vehicle," said Lt. Leslie Sonne, public information officer for Monterey police.

Because the alleged armed robbery took place in close proximity to the campus, MPC immediately went into lockdown.

Monterey police say there were inconsistencies with his story, and no substantiated evidence showing that an armed robbery had occurred.

"There was not any physical evidence to back it up so we really don't know if a robbery occurred," said Lt. Sonne.

That's about the time they received four different 911 calls saying their children, students at MPC. The parents all had different stories ranging from their child being held at gunpoint, hostages were being held, or their child had heard gunshots, but then the police tracked down those specific students, they found out it was a miscommunication.

No students, and no teachers to be found on Monterey Peninsula College campus around 11:30 a.m. when the initial call for lockdown came out over the loudspeaker on campus. Students and teachers say it was an unusual sight at this college, and the only sound was a periodic whisper of students or teachers opening the door to let students wandering around campus get into a classroom for safety.

Monterey police took no chances. They called in mutual aid, set up an incident command post, officers patrolled the campus with fire arms, and tracked down the four students who might have been in danger according to 911 calls from Their family members:

"Confirmed they had not seen anyone with a gun they had not heard any gunfire, so it's possibly miscommunication, mid interpretation," said Lt. Sonne.

Central Coast News reporter, Cassandra Arsenault, was in one of the classrooms during the lockdown. Students were receiving texts about a possible hostage situation, and others relayed that message to others over their phones to friends and family, and even posting on Facebook and Twitter.

"This day and age of social media things got out and it escalated," said Lt. Sonne.

But when it comes to any report of a suspect with a gun, MPC AND Monterey police say they won't hesitate to jump in full force.

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