Second Armed Robbery Adds Police to Streets
Muggers take North Face backpack in broad daylight
A second armed robbery in three days has police from two departments stepping up patrols and combing the streets of Brookline for a trio of black males who allegedly robbed three male BU students at gunpoint in the clear light of day—5 p.m.—on Tuesday.
The Boston University Police Department, which issued a University-wide alert at 5:28 p.m., says the robbery took place at Egmont and St. Paul Streets, just two blocks from Commonwealth Avenue and about eight blocks from the corner of Thorndike Street and Hamilton Road, where two students were robbed early Sunday morning. There were no injuries in either incident.
BUPD Captain Robert Molloy says one of the suspects was wearing a red sweatshirt and another was believed to be wearing a blue sweatshirt. Police believe the suspects ditched the sweatshirts shortly after robbing the students of a North Face backpack; all three suspects fled up Egmont Street to Pleasant Street, toward Commonwealth Avenue.
The suspects were reported to be between 16 and 20 years old, Molloy says, roughly the same ages as the muggers who took an iPhone, an Android cell phone, a wallet, and $50 from two BU students at approximately 3 a.m. on Sunday. It’s too early to tell if the two robberies, both of which involved handguns, were related, he says.
Peter Fiedler, vice president for administrative services, says that BU police will immediately add three more patrols to the area of both crimes, and that Brookline is expected to add patrols as well. A spokesperson for the Brookline Police Department confirms that additional patrols were being put on the streets. Fiedler says a normal BU patrol would be five officers; going forward, at least eight officers will patrol the area. He says the police will use a combination of marked and unmarked vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles.
“We remain very concerned about this recent outbreak of crime,” says Fiedler (COM’77). “We will use all resources available to apprehend the perpetrators.”
BUPD Chief Thomas Robbins warns students who see anything suspicious not to confront people on the street. Rather, he says, concerned members of the community can anonymously text information to the BUPD at tip411 (847411), keyword: BU.
Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore says he is deeply troubled by the crimes. “The Boston University police are working very closely with the Brookline police to make this community as safe as we can make it,” he says. “Any additional vigilance that anyone can use in these times will be very helpful to all of us.”
Elmore (SED’87) encourages all members of the community to let police know immediately if anything looks “even slightly suspicious.”
Students are expressing concerns about the second robbery in three days.
“I wasn’t very alarmed about the first alert because it was in Brookline,” says Lily Cohen (CGS’14). “I don’t really go there very often. But this one was closer to campus. It just reinforces that you shouldn’t walk alone and that you should always make sure that someone knows where you are at all times.”
Alessandra Petrungaro agrees.
“I’m a little more concerned now,” says Petrungaro (CGS’13). “I avoid that area at night. But I’ll definitely be more on guard now.”
Nicole Sauer says she has always been careful never to walk alone off campus late at night. “After this, I’ll make sure I have the BUPD number on my speed dial,” says Sauer (SMG’15). “I never really think about needing it, but I’ll add it now.”
North Face apparel is famously popular among thieves, who often find it easier to remove from people than from store shelves. The Washington Times reported in 2005 that Prince George’s County police arrested five suspects in connection with 17 robberies from individuals wearing North Face jackets.
BUPD Detective Lieutenant Peter DiDomenica advises students living on or off campus to follow some basic safety precautions:
- Avoid poorly lit areas late at night.
- Get a ride instead of walking. If walking is the only option, do so in large groups.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t wear headphones or talk on your cell phone.
- At the first sign of trouble, dial 911 or the BUPD at 617-353-2121.
BUPD urges students, faculty, and staff to report suspicious people and activity on or near campus by calling 617-353-2121 or text messaging tip411 (847411), keyword: BU.21 Comments