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BU Offers $10K Reward for Information on Robbers

Video reveals suspects in string of armed assaults


Boston University is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of one or more of the perpetrators involved in a string of armed robberies of BU students on and near the Charles River Campus. In the most recent of four such incidents since September 23, a female student was approached in the driveway of 808 Commonwealth Ave. on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. The woman told police that two assailants, who brandished a handgun, fled when they learned that she had nothing of value in her bag. There have been no injuries in any of the assaults.

Peter Fiedler, vice president for administrative services, says the reward is being offered by the University to encourage members of the community to support the efforts being made by the Brookline, Boston University, and Boston Police Departments.

“Based on police reports, there has been a pattern here,” says Fiedler (COM’77). “However, Tuesday’s robbery took place on our campus. This brings the problem home, and it dramatically elevates our concern for the safety of our community. While the police are doing an excellent job, it became clear to us that it was time for the institution to enhance its support of the investigation.”

BU Police Chief Thomas Robbins says the victims in all four incidents have described the suspects as young black males between the ages of 16 and 20, all wearing hooded sweatshirts. Robbins says Brookline Police have several excellent leads, including an enhanced video showing the suspects on their way to and from the third robbery, on October 5. Those suspects are also believed to be involved in the second robbery.

Brookline Police Chief Daniel O’Leary says one suspect in the October 5 robbery was wearing a red sweatshirt and appeared to be wearing new Air Jordan sneakers and carrying a backpack. He also had braces on his teeth. The second suspect was wearing a gray sweatshirt with two numbers on the front, the first of which looks like a “6.” That suspect was carrying a purple backpack.

O’Leary says the suspects in the second robbery are three black males, one of whom is about 5-foot-11, and the other two about 5-foot-10. The taller of the men is believed to have been wearing black and silver earrings. O’Leary says a second suspect, who displayed a handgun, had dark skin and was carrying a backpack. The third suspect had short black hair and wore a dark sweatshirt. He says the suspects approached their victims with a handgun held at the suspect’s waist, and in one case asked if the victim had a cell phone.

The Brookline chief says his department has not determined if the suspects in the video were involved in the first and third robberies. He said Brookline Police have been working closely and aggressively with the Boston and the BU Police Departments.

The robberies began on September 23, at approximately 3 a.m., at Thorndike Street and Hamilton Road, when two BU students were robbed of an iPhone, an Android cell phone, a wallet, and $50. Two days later, three BU students were robbed at around 5 p.m. at Egmont and St. Paul Streets, and on Friday, October 5, a recent BU graduate was mugged in broad daylight just four blocks from Commonwealth Avenue. The incident took place at 5:15 p.m. at St. Paul and Thatcher Streets.

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to contact CrimeStoppers at 800-494-TIPS (8477), or text to CRIME (27463).

Art Jahnke

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.

11 Comments on BU Offers $10K Reward for Information on Robbers

  • louisa on 10.11.2012 at 9:53 am


  • Kate on 10.11.2012 at 11:31 am

    Seriously, after the sentence “police are doing an excellent Job” I stopped reading the article.
    if they would be doing an excellent job those robberies wouldn’t happen on the first place. but anyway, now, when those robberies are taking place police still cannot do anything and you call it excellence? I thought excellence is when after the graduate student got shot everything is investigated and resolved or at least that first robbery at 3 am was the last. if there are 4 robberies in a row I would doubt whether I should put the word excellence near it.
    hope my opinion didn’t hurts anyone

  • Ryan on 10.11.2012 at 12:11 pm

    These kids are punks. Cant wait for them to get caught….but hopefully smacked around first!

  • gb on 10.11.2012 at 12:56 pm

    Credit to the BU leadership team for having a direct discussion and hearing our concerns and starting the process today of becoming proactive instead of reactive lets hear their plan later tonight and lets keep the pressue on. I have asked with no uncertainty for a meeting with DR Brown and I would ask that parents who believe in this stratgey to continue to email me at bucrimewave@gmail.com

  • Nathan on 10.11.2012 at 1:02 pm

    Posting a reward is EXACTLY the right action at this time. Someone knows. Let us hope those who know come forward to claim the reward.

  • Laurie Richards on 10.11.2012 at 1:06 pm

    Targeting college kids then not getting anything of value? If these punks wanted something of value, don’t target college kids!

    • Kyle Potter on 10.14.2012 at 5:10 pm

      Except that BU’s college kids are loaded, thanks to their parents’ deep pockets…

  • David Fondots on 10.11.2012 at 2:52 pm

    An action that should have ben taken by the University and the City would have been increase patrols, especailly after the second incident. According to students I’ve spoken to, there has been evidence of this. The continued crimal activities sometimes in brod daylight simply means, they have no fear of the possibility of being caught.

  • Paranoid on 10.11.2012 at 4:23 pm

    I traveled through the vicinity of the robberies today. There were many people, mostly student age, with headphones in ears, looking down while they walked. Showing no situational awareness. Didnt see any marked cars or officers in uniforms either.

    We need more eyes on the problem. It is impractical to hire scores of law enforcement. Taxes and tuition will really rise. I suggest to the community, students et al to pull out your earphones and start looking around. Put BUPD and Brookline PD on speed dial. Take back your streets.

  • km on 10.11.2012 at 5:08 pm

    Regarding Peter Fiedler’s comment “Based on police reports, there has been a pattern here,” says Fiedler (COM’77). “However, Tuesday’s robbery took place on our campus. This brings the problem home, and it dramatically elevates our concern for the safety of our community.” I would like to point out to Mr. Fiedler that the robbery that occurred at St. Paul & Egmont Street is an area that is home to many BU students. I am certain the University is well aware of this fact. The BU students that live in this area have been greatly affected by the robberies. It is obvious that these thugs are targeting BU students- on and off campus. The City of Brookline and BU should take into strong consideration the very poor lighting in these areas and also address this concern. Students living in these areas, although close to the University, have to walk very darkened streets in the evening hours. Crime statistics show that muggings & other violent crimes can be reduced by providing adequate lighting during evening hours. I hope that BU will strongly take into consideration the number of students who live off campus in the robbery areas- it is affecting ALL students- both on and off campus.

    • lk on 10.11.2012 at 6:39 pm

      They’re not targeting BU students. They’re working in the BU area and are targeting people who look like they’re not paying attention to their surroundings. Lots of those people happen to be BU students. It’s not like the robbers have some vendetta against BU and are specifically targeting its students.

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