Police Urge Caution After Campus Robberies
Cell phones, iPods targeted in incidents
The Boston University Police Department has stepped up patrols and is urging extra caution after three muggings took place around campus last month. The incidents affected two students and one staff member, and in each case a cell phone or iPod was the item targeted.
The first reported incident was on Wednesday, January 14, at 8:50 p.m., near the residence hall at 177 Bay State Rd. The victim, a female student in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she was grabbed from behind and the suspects attempted to take her cell phone from her pocket. The second incident, reported by a BU employee, took place on Thursday, January 30, at 7:18 p.m., near the Metcalf Science Center at 590 Commonwealth Ave. The victim said that she was approached on Blandford Street by the suspects, who threw her against the building and took her iPhone. The third incident occurred on Friday, January 31, at 7:36 p.m.; a student in the College of General Studies was near his residence on Ashford Street when the suspects took his wallet and iPod.
All the victims described the suspects as three black males. A fourth incident, which took place in Kenmore Square, involved a weapon.
In response, the BUPD has increased marked and unmarked cruisers, as well as plainclothes patrols, in the affected areas. Thomas Robbins, the BU police chief, is talking with the Boston and Brookline public safety departments about the possibility of a task force to increase patrols and set up possible stings to apprehend the suspects. Robbins also sent an e-mail to the BU community yesterday encouraging students, faculty, and staff to take steps to protect themselves.
“Although your chances of being the victim of a crime are small, your personal commitment to your own safety is crucial,” Robbins wrote. “Always be aware of your surroundings, whether on or off campus; if possible, plan to walk with friends or with others at night or use the University’s escort security service (617-353-4877) on campus; safeguard your valuables by keeping them out of sight; and report suspicious persons and activity on or near the campus, immediately, to the Boston University Police Department by calling 617-353-2121.”
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