Douglas County prosecutors on Monday accused three Bolivar, Mo., college students of hatching a plan last weekend to try to rob residents of a Lawrence apartment.
“It appears the defendants purchased ski masks and armed themselves with weapons,” District Attorney Charles Branson said.
Branson said the three defendants, Nicholas Allen and Scott McDowell, both 21, and Jeremy Noland, 19, bought a pellet gun and a baseball bat as part of their plan. Then, Branson said, they drove to Grove Apartments, 4301 W. 24th Place, where they hoped to rob one of Allen’s former neighbors.
Prosecutors charged the men with conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, theft and criminal damage to property.
According to Lawrence police, an employee at the apartment complex heard glass break at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The employee saw three men dressed in black climb into an apartment through a window.
The employee told police the men crawled back out the window carrying bags, a laptop computer and possibly a gun.
Witnesses told police the men left in a black Scion. Residents of the apartment that was burglarized arrived home later and told police someone who previously lived in the apartment above them had a similar vehicle.
A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper later saw a vehicle matching that description. Troopers pulled the vehicle over in Overbrook, about 28 miles southwest of Lawrence, and arrested three men. Troopers say they found a pellet gun inside the car.
During a short hearing Monday, James George, Douglas County’s pro tem judge, set the men’s bonds at $20,000 each, cash or surety. In court, the men or their attorneys all indicated they were students at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, which is north of Springfield, Mo.
Investigators believe Allen had lived at the apartment complex previously.
The men are scheduled to appear at 2 p.m. Wednesday in front of Douglas County District Judge Michael Malone.