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Campus Life

Search for Robbers Continues

Officials urge students to remain cautious

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Police are hopeful that the arrest of one suspect in the string of robberies of BU students and an alum will hasten the arrest of others, but officials at both the Brookline and the BU Police Departments say the “saturation patrols” put in place in response to the crimes will remain until all suspects are apprehended.

The suspect, a juvenile who turned himself in to Brookline police about 5 p.m. on Thursday, will be arraigned on Friday in Brookline District Court.

“We have one suspect in custody,” says BU Police Chief Thomas Robbins. “But the two robberies that he was involved in were committed by three suspects. We are continuing to aggressively investigate until both of the other two suspects are in custody.” He adds that the 15-year-old suspect has so far been tied to two of the four robberies, so no one has been arrested for two of the crimes as yet.

“Brookline and BUPD are continuing to work together on this,” says Robbins. “We will continue to keep extra patrols out there, including uniformed officers, plainclothes officers, and officers in vehicles, on foot, and on bicycles. All of that will continue until we close this.”

Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore says some students have expressed relief that one of the suspects is in custody.

“I want to remind everyone that there are still suspects out there,” says Elmore (SED’87). “We should still be diligent; we should still keep our eyes open and report anything suspicious to the police. We cannot let our guard down in this environment just because one person has been arrested.”

Brookline Police made the arrest Thursday afternoon when the suspect, accompanied by family members, turned himself in at police headquarters. Brookline Police Chief Daniel O’Leary says the suspect, who could not be named because he is a juvenile, was charged with two counts of armed robbery, for crimes committed on September 25 and October 5. He says a surveillance video of three suspects that was posted on BU Today and other news outlets played a major role in the arrest, which came 24 hours after Boston University offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of one or more of the perpetrators involved in four armed robberies of BU students and an alum on or near the Charles River Campus.

Brookline Police will continue to work closely with the Boston and the BU Police Departments to arrest those involved in all four of the crimes, O’Leary says.

Robbins says the suspect is believed to be involved in the second and third of the robberies. The third robbery, of a recent BU graduate, took place at 5:15 p.m. on Friday, October 5, at St. Paul and Thatcher Streets, one block from the robbery of three BU students that occurred at about 5 p.m. on September 25. Two days earlier, at approximately 3 a.m. on September 23, two BU students were robbed of an iPhone, an Android cell phone, a wallet, and $50 at Thorndike Street and Hamilton Road. A subsequent attempted armed robbery occurred in the driveway of 808 Commonwealth Ave. on Tuesday, October 9, at 8:30 p.m. The victim, a BU student, told police that two assailants, who brandished a handgun, fled when they learned that she had nothing of value in her bag. There were no injuries in any of the assaults.

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

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Art Jahnke

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

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