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Students Said To Rob Out of Need

January 26, 1999

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) _ Two college students allegedly robbed two local businesses at gunpoint in hopes of stealing enough so they wouldn’t have to work while attending school.

Anthony Louis Cristofani, a senior philosophy major, and freshman Emma Rose Freeman, a promising writer, were arrested Friday and could be expelled from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

They are charged with robbing a hair salon Jan. 16 and a Costco warehouse store in Santa Cruz five days later. An elementary school teaching aide, Craig Dickson, allegedly drove the getaway car.

``I’m devastated,″ Linda Freeman, the young woman’s mother, told the Santa Cruz Sentinel from her Southern California home. ``This is a girl who was a national merit scholar. Her only offense was to brake for a squirrel. Then there was a total change after she went to college.″

Detectives suspected from the start the robbers might have been from UC Santa Cruz because they were well groomed and nicely dressed.

In the first heist, a man walked into a hair salon, whistling, followed by a young woman who pointed a gun at a stylist.

``Tell her what you want, honey,″ the male suspect reportedly said to his female companion.

They fled with less than $100.

In the second robbery, the pair were seen leaving Costco with several electronic items.

Dickson, 23, and Cristofani, 23, posted bail. Freeman, 18, was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday. Her bail was set at $25,000.

``She said she wanted to concentrate on her art and she didn’t have time to work,″ police Sgt. Steve Clark said.

UC Santa Cruz spokesman Jim Burns said administrators are reviewing the case to determine what disciplinary action to take.

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