Residents hide in bathroom during armed home invasion near Ball State

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UPDATE (8/24/2017) - Robert Booker was sentenced to eight years in prison.

MUNCIE, Ind. (12/2/2015) - Residents at an apartment complex in Muncie hid inside a bathroom while two armed men tore through their home, Muncie Police said.

The robbery happened early Monday morning at the Grove Apartments on North Oakwood Ave. The apartment complex is home to many Ball State University students and staff.

Muncie police said two suspects used a hammer to smash the window of a ground floor apartment unit. One suspect crawled inside the window and let another in through the front door.

One apartment tenant called 911 and hid inside the bathroom with two others.  In the 911 call provided to FOX59 by Delaware County Emergency Communications Center, the caller is heard frantically telling the operator that the suspects were inside and armed with guns.

“They’re in. Like, they’re threatening to shoot,” the caller said.

The 911 operator is heard telling the tenants to stay in the bathroom until police arrived. Police said the victims did the right thing.

“That bought them some time to actually call 911, let emergency dispatch know what was going on, give their location and that always gives the officers a head start in that location, which actually, aided in making the arrest," explained Muncie Police Sgt. Brent Brown.

The entire 911 call lasted less than ten minutes. Muncie Police and Ball State University Police arrived on scene as the suspects were trying to leave.

Police arrested Harold Smith and Robert Booker on charges of robbery, burglary, and intimidation. Booker was also charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Muncie police said the suspects carefully planned and orchestrated the home invasion. Booker and Smith admitted to their part in the crime, but told police the robbery was not their idea. Booker said he was told they were going to "hit a lick." Police say that term is slang for a home invasion.

Ball State University sent out an alert to students and staff following the arrests. Students who live at the apartment complex said they still feel safe and know this was an isolated incident.

Police are still investigating if the suspects knew the victims.

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