DURANT, OK -- Several home invasions in Durant, Tuesday, led police to warn residents to be on high alert. But, it turns out what started out as crimes could all be a horrible prank.
"Yesterday she was very, very like shaken up. Just not really around because of it. Just wanted to be left alone because she was just too shaken up about stuff," SOSU student, Shannon Lee said.
SOSU student Shannon Lee says her friend was one victim of the home invasions that took place near campus.
Police say the men knocked on front doors and once residents opened them, they forced their way inside using weapons. The four or five men reportedly targeted seven homes early Tuesday morning, and made it inside three of them. They were wearing all black, with masks covering their faces.
None of the attempted robberies occurred on campus, but SOSU campus police sent out an alert Tuesday evening via email, text and phone call, to all students and staff.
"The university looks at it as we have a duty and an obligation to ensure that our students and our campus community are safe," Communications Director Alan Burton said.
"Obviously I was scared. I was scared to walk around campus. I didn't know if someone was going to try to take my money or stuff," student Cheyenne Buck said.
It wasn't just students who were concerned -- word spread quickly to nearby residents.
"This whole neighborhood is full of children. So, it's scary," Caprice Finch said.
While the home invasions actually did happen, Durant police say they believe the men were trying to play an April Fool's joke.
"I don't think it was a very funny joke. Everybody took it pretty seriously. I mean, it scares people so I don't think people should joke about that kind of stuff," Buck said.
"Awful. Like how could someone think of a prank like that to scare people like that? I don't think it's a very nice joke at all," Lee said.
Durant police say they're still investigating these home invasions, and have not identified the suspects. They say the men could face robbery charges for this potentially dangerous joke.