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Campus Life

Third Armed Robbery in Two Weeks

Police swarm streets, but suspects flee


Dozens of police from the Boston University Police Department and the Brookline Police Department swarmed an area four blocks from Commonwealth Avenue Friday evening in search of the three armed robbers who took an iPhone, a wallet, and keys from a recent male graduate of the University. The incident was the third armed robbery near the Charles River Campus in two weeks, and it took place at 5:15 p.m. at the corner of St. Paul and Thatcher Street, one block from the robbery of three BU students 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 the corner of Thorndike Street and Hamilton Road, about eight blocks from Friday’s incident. The suspects in all three robberies brandished a handgun, and are believed to be black males between 16 and 20 years old. The three suspects in the most recent incident are believed to have been wearing a white sweatshirt, a gray sweatshirt, and a red sweatshirt. No one was injured in any of the robberies. BU Police sent a BU Alert to the Boston University community at 5:42 on Friday.

BUPD Lieutenant Taso Giannopoulos says the victim left the scene and ran into his police cruiser just one block away. “I put in the call and literally within a minute there were about a dozen cruisers there from Brookline and BUPD,” Giannopoulos says. While the suspects got away, he says, the police came away with several promising leads about their identity.

Boston University Police had added three more patrols to the area of the crimes in the immediate wake of the second robbery, and Brookline Police also stepped up patrols. Peter Fiedler (COM’77), vice president for administrative services, says a normal BU patrol would be five officers, but at least eight officers have been patrolling the area. He says the police are using a combination of marked and unmarked vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles.

Despite the increased patrols, many students are uneasy. Kyle Montoya (CGS 13) says he avoids walking on certain streets. “Clearly,” he says, “there is not adequate security off campus.”

Paul Ryan (COM’13) says he feels safe on campus, but not walking through parts of Brookline. “It doesn’t matter the time of day,” says Ryan. “Two of the robberies occurred in broad daylight. I’ve considered carrying something to protect myself if I do find myself in that situation, and I’ve become more alert when walking. I’ve started locking my door when I get home and try to be just more alert in general when walking around. I also no longer take back roads.”

Olivia DeFrances (CAS’16), says she’s not “super-concerned” about the robberies. “I’ve been pretty much behaving the same as usual,” she says. “Alhough I would feel more comfortable walking around in a group, especially later in the day or at night, but that’s something I’ve always practiced.”

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.

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

An earlier version of this article failed to mention that the suspects brandished a handgun.

Art Jahnke

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

112 Comments on Third Armed Robbery in Two Weeks

  • Confused on 10.05.2012 at 8:03 pm

    I’m confused about BUPD’s advice. They say, “avoid poorly lit areas late at night.” Two of these robberies occurred during daylight. They say “don’t…talk on your cell phone,” but then they advise you to pull out your phone to text/call at the first sign of something suspicious.

    Also, a police cruiser was only a block away and they didn’t even notice anything suspicious? Yikes.

    I think the safest thing to do is just avoid the area south of Comm. Ave between Amory St. and Harvard Ave.

    • =\ on 10.05.2012 at 8:30 pm

      If you look at the map it’s entirely plausible that a ‘block away’ is around a corner and down the street. I also don’t feel that the advice they’re giving is bad, it’s not going to be universally applicable.

      The suggestion for not talking on your cell phone has everything to do with awareness. If you are distracted by talking on a cell phone, you are unlikely to be aware of someone approaching you or something else happening. If you’re already aware of a potential issue, calling for help is good advice.

  • Nick Barber on 10.05.2012 at 8:19 pm

    Come on, let’s nab these guys!

  • annoyed on 10.05.2012 at 8:43 pm

    I just don’t understand how BU police could not prevent 3 robberies within a two weeks period of time. If they increased the number of patrols, why would this happen again within one block of the area last time in broad day light? I have never seen BU police actually being able to catch a criminal in previous robbery cases, and I am losing even the bits left faith in them.

  • Susan on 10.05.2012 at 9:42 pm

    I am a very concerned parent, my child goes to Bu and lives in this area. BU needs to step up the police force, as does Brookline Police. Students should have acess to the BU escort service if they want it, even though it is not on campus , and the BU shuttle bus should provide transporation. I know this is not done routinely but exceptions should be made. Kids are being held up at gun point and its very scary. You should not wait till a fatality occurs.

    • Marc on 10.05.2012 at 11:19 pm

      I agree that the school should do everything in its power to keep students safe, but I am not sure how much more the BUPD can do. The problem is that, once again, BU is being forced to step in where a municipality has failed. The Brookline PD details as many as four units to ticket jaywalkers in front of the Coolidge Corner theater, yet when students are being robbed at gunpoint in their city it’s BU that has to pick up the tab? The same thing happened a couple of years ago in West Campus. The Boston PD failed to keep residents of Allston safe, so the BUPD had to step in.

      We are right to expect a lot from the university, and I think for the most part they deliver. But I would like to see the municipalities that benefit so much from our presence earn it for once. Otherwise, let’s get a new BU Bus route to Cambridgeport so that students can live in a city that actually offers some services to its residents.

      • Kathleen on 10.09.2012 at 7:46 am

        Mark is right on here. Brookline PD is busy in CC; their traffic dept. is busy ticketing cars in the region of the robberies. Maybe some undercover cops on parking ticket patrol would help — instead of writing tickets, they’re looking for armed robbers.

      • Neighbor on 10.10.2012 at 7:56 am

        Wow. The municipalities benefit from BU’s presence and we need to give back to BU? BU is the biggest landholder in Boston and doesn’t pay property taxes to Brookline because it’s a non-profit (it’s hockey program, gym, rock concerts, and food facilities would give you a different impression, but it’s a not for profit). So BU is a drag on Brookline–we would use those property taxes to pay the police force. The rest of us pay more in property taxes to pickup the tab for freeloading BU.

    • T on 10.05.2012 at 11:38 pm

      I totally support this. It is better to prevent than to regret not having acted on time.

    • Worried on 10.06.2012 at 11:54 am

      I am a parent too and this is my first childs first year at BU. It is scaring the S#*t out of me.

      • Malcolm on 10.09.2012 at 11:08 pm

        This is typical of city life, it’s best the students get adjusted. It’s pretty difficult to catch on foot robberies. The police can’t be everywhere at once and shakedown every black kid they see. The best way is to let one of them slip up when using the stolen cell phones, id’s, credit cards etc. That’s how I got my stuff back in a previous incedent.

        • Sigh on 10.10.2012 at 10:04 am

          Be careful, Malcolm. Such observations don’t go over well here. It’s much easier to just grab a pitchfork and storm Bob Brown’s office than think.

  • MoonBatman on 10.05.2012 at 10:09 pm

    Perhaps the problem is that all three patrols are at T-Anthony’s?

    • BU PARENT ON THE WARPATH on 10.09.2012 at 10:40 pm

      Open Letter to BU Leadership

      I am reaching out to you regarding the recent robberies that have taken place at BU to express my dismay, concern and most importantly my hope that BU is taking this situation to heart and taking the measures that are obviously required to live up to the most important obligation that BU has which is to protect our children.

      I understand that BU is located in a major city and that crime unfortunately is going to happen but 4 armed robberies in 2 weeks is simply not acceptable and as the parent of a senior who is a young woman I can tell you that this situation has caused fear and terror to grip the BU community.

      I do not expect BU to prevent these horrific acts from taking place but I do believe the time has come for BU to take drastic and decisive action to ensure that our children are protected from these senseless and brazen acts of violence. Drastic times require drastic measures and we have clearly crossed the line into that threshold. Having our children living in fear is simply not acceptable and BU needs to step up and meet this situation head on with a public statement of how BU intends to protect our children as if the BU community can not protect its students that we have a profound problem.

      I would propose that as a starting point BU offer a reward for the capture and conviction of these hoodlums as well as providing transportation for our children back and forth to class until these situation is resolved. We have a situation that requires your leadership and conviction as it is obvious that these hoodlums are operating without accountability and culpability and it will continue until BU and the BU community let it be know that we will not allow our children to be terrorized.

      I trust you will take my note to heart and take it in the spirit that as a father and a member of the BU community I don’t want this to escalate any further than it already has. I speak for a number of the BU parents in offering you our support and I stand ready to help in any way possible.

      • BU parent on 10.09.2012 at 11:05 pm

        I agree with BU parent on the warpath. I am going to call Dean Elmore,something needs to be done!

  • Anonymous on 10.05.2012 at 11:15 pm

    Honestly, what is it going to take before they actually do something to stop these robberies??? When someone actually gets SHOT with one of those handguns?? PLEASE as a terrified student can BUPD do something better?? I don’t walk around alone at night but now I have to be concerned in broad daylight….. SO FRUSTRATING AND SCARRY

    • BU Alum on 10.06.2012 at 2:46 pm

      What do you propose that the BUPD should do other than stationing an officer on every corner 24/7?

      • Anonymous on 10.07.2012 at 1:23 am

        If they had the area surrounded like they claimed three hooded black kids wouldn’t have “escaped” within a minute’s time unless they’re jumping down sewer grates like little rats ESPECIALLY in daylight. You’ve got to be kidding me its not like they’re blending into the darkness.

        • Rebecca on 10.07.2012 at 10:47 pm

          There are lots of yards to escape through here.

        • NDB on 10.09.2012 at 9:32 am

          There are more than three black teenagers in this part of town. And hooded jerseys are quite common too. Should the police hassle every kid who fits this common profile, whether or not he or she is a perp? I think there are sensitive issues at play here. There should be more undercover police activity around campus, and around the lower-income projects just blocks away in Brookline, in order to develop evidence and identify the real suspects. Nobody is happy about this, but wait until some BU student in a hoodie is wrongly nabbed and see what happens.

    • Go BU! on 10.09.2012 at 9:56 am

      Scarry? Well, nobody has been shot yet…then there might be some scars. Or do you mean the psychological type?

  • ThatGirlwhoPostedAComment on 10.05.2012 at 11:22 pm

    I just don’t know what to say about this. I don’t want to be too hard on the police because they’re not superheroes but at the same time, this should not keep happening.

  • Concerned Neighbor on 10.05.2012 at 11:37 pm

    How could this happen again? In these few blocks are so many students, families, young children on route to the park. Let’s step up the patrols.

  • Anonymous on 10.06.2012 at 2:39 am

    At some point we’re going to have to start protecting ourselves if the BUPD can’t do it for us.

    • Anonymous on 10.08.2012 at 1:43 am

      I can picture you attaching a machine gun on top of your wrangler and patrolling the streets of Brookline after class.

  • Anonymous on 10.06.2012 at 10:44 am

    This is an example of how well gun control works for criminals (it doesn’t). That’s why criminals target BU students on or near campus, they know we are unarmed, defenseless, and can get away with it before the police come just like others apparently have before.

    Police won’t always be there to protect us, just like they weren’t in this case.
    Get smart, allow students and faculty with concealed carry permits to carry their weapon on campus and defend themselves.

    • Anonymous on 10.06.2012 at 7:51 pm

      As much as I support this idea, the only way we’ll ever be able to protect ourselves on campus is if both state law and university policy change. Seeing as this is Massachusetts and not New Hampshire, I don’t think either our state government or university admins would support that. It would probably take a Supreme Court decision to make them recognize our 2A rights.

    • Aarghh! on 10.07.2012 at 9:20 am

      Don’t be stupid! (I’m not being ironic here. What you are saying is stupid and paranoid and you should seek help or move to Lybia, where everyone is now allowed to walk on the street with a gun to ‘feel safe’.) Let us know how youake out in Lybia.

      • Anonymous on 10.07.2012 at 8:57 pm

        Concealed carry is legal in 49 states and has proven very effective at reducing crime rates. What he’s suggesting is that there shouldn’t be an arbitrary line around campuses where even trained and licensed individuals are forbidden from carrying defensive weapons. That actually doesn’t make the campus safer, it just means that thugs know where to find lots of victims who won’t fight back.

        • MoonBatman on 10.09.2012 at 7:01 am

          Libertarians and gun-rights types spend so much time online. Maybe if they got out more, they’d see that this vision of glorious self-sufficiency doesn’t work out. Society chose cops; you can’t be your own cop, especially since your logic dictates that the George Zimmermans of the world get to be cops too. That said, hiring standards for policing should be high(er) as well.

          • Anonymous on 10.09.2012 at 12:06 pm

            It’s nice that you think you understand my logic, but you’ve made several assumptions I feel are unfair. Firstly, the statistics don’t lie, and CC does work at reducing crime rates. Secondly, police do not have any responsibility to protect you from crimes being committed. This was established by the Supreme Court decision of Warren v. District of Columbia. In view of this fact, there has to be an alternative of preserving your life and property. That doesn’t mean you go looking for trouble, and people who do (like Zim), are no better than criminals. But when trouble comes to me, every second counts.

    • Anonymous on 10.08.2012 at 7:05 am

      Perp shows a gun, victim pulls out a gun…what could go wrong? This is hardly a solution.

      • anonmous on 10.09.2012 at 5:17 am

        It is a better solution than a person getting robbed at gunpoint. You would rather the victims be defenseless? I think not.

        • Go BU! on 10.09.2012 at 9:59 am

          I’d rather not be the pedestrian down the block hit by a stray bullet because some jacka** can’t live without his IPhone and thinks he’s Rambo

      • Josh on 10.09.2012 at 5:31 am

        Agreed. Which environment would you prefer:

        One where on occasion an over-privileged private university student gets a little shaken up and then has to ask mom and dad for a couple hundred bucks to buy a new phone? OR

        One with the same kids (who are predominantly from white, wealthy neighborhoods, and may or may not be hopped up on adderal) patrolling the streets with handguns in their belt, looking for “black males between 16 and 20 years old.”

        • Anonymous on 10.09.2012 at 9:54 am

          stop stereotyping such a large population. some of us don’t have a linked card to daddy’s account or get our tuition paid in full or use drugs. some of us have jobs and have loans to pay back and actually work hard for our grades. its just really rude of you.

          • right on on 10.09.2012 at 2:50 pm

            Right on, Anonymous. Despite the stereotype, we’re not all rich with silver spoons in our mouths.

          • Josh on 10.10.2012 at 6:35 am

            No one said you didn’t work hard for your grades. I’m not accusing you of buying good grades. I’m just saying the majority of our student body, which can afford to spend over $200,000 on undergrad rather than a quarter of the amount at state school, can probably also afford a replacement iPhone.

            I’m sure in the wake of Trayvon Martin you can appreciate why it might not be a good idea for us to be carrying guns around town looking for young black males.

  • anon on 10.06.2012 at 11:12 am

    haha can you imagine if this happens one more time? our school’s reputation would be irreversibly screwed

    • student on 10.09.2012 at 10:07 pm

      I can’t believe it just happened again!

  • Philip on 10.06.2012 at 10:50 pm

    My son is a BU student living in an apartment (with three other BU students) on Egmont St. This is a truly frightening situation. The BU administration needs to immediately set up van service for students living in this area until the armed robbers are caught. Rides she be offered hourly after 5:00 p.m. from GSU/Mugar Library to students who live in this neighborhood. They should be dropped off at their doors.
    You would think that after BU’s tragedies of the last school year, they would do every possible thing to protect their students.

    • Amused on 10.09.2012 at 10:33 am

      “They should be dropped off at their doors”

      This is air-traffic control. You are not authorized to enter this airspace. Please set your helicopter down immediately, or you will be shot down.

    • M on 10.10.2012 at 1:31 am

      I am amused as well, this is not iraq. Calm down. It’s one 15 yr old kid who is dumb enough to commit 3+ armed robberies and is about to be sentenced to 10+ yrs of incarceration. Besides, your chances of being killed in a car accident are higher than being shot.

  • Anonymous on 10.06.2012 at 11:25 pm

    I find the suggestions for shuttle service rather amusing. Should each student be taken to his/her home by shuttle? Instead of responding to criminals by hiding, just carry your mace/knife/gun and kill the criminals, like they deserve.

    • Anonymous on 10.08.2012 at 1:13 am


      • Sharon on 10.09.2012 at 10:45 am

        Honey there are no mods out in the real world, let people state their opinions

  • Suspicious on 10.07.2012 at 9:15 am

    Where are the Brookline police? Where are the witnesses? St Paul is a well travelled street in what seems to be a very nice neighborhood. There’s a park nearby with lots of kids. Something doesn’t seem right about these robberies…

    • A Shea on 10.08.2012 at 9:17 pm

      You’re not the only one who is suspicious. And, come on! This is BROOKLINE! BU students are not required to live off-campus. The University is NOT responsible for its students’ safety when they leave campus; of course it’s concerned: The warnings and publicity in these cases come from BU (not Brookline) in an effort to make sure everyone knows what has been reported so that any member of the BU community who is in this area can be vigilant.

  • richard senic on 10.07.2012 at 1:39 pm

    boston university is a HUGE buisness . part of the costs of doing buisness is providing security to its “customers” (i.e. students) to do this, there needs to be video surveilance of every square foot of the campus, supplemented by almost the same coverage of what BU conveniently calls off-campus, (even though classes are held a few blocks away) if during a mini crime wave like this, bu needs to hire some armed security , than so be it, they have the money. BY ALLOWING THIS< YOU SEND A MESSAGE TO EVERY PERP IN THE CITY< COME HERE< ROB OUR STUDENTS ITS EASY PICKENS!

    • Anonymous on 10.08.2012 at 1:15 am

      “video surveillance on every square foot of the campus”. Yea there’s nothing wrong with that idea..

  • Rebecca on 10.07.2012 at 10:45 pm

    I live in the area where this is happening. A few weeks ago at night,I saw a man enter my unlocked car (we forgot to lock it) that was in my driveway. Thinking it was a family member I opened the car door and the man took off. I called the police and they arrived while I was still on the phone with the police dispatcher. The police here in Brookline are incredibly fast in responding to calls. Another time I called them when I had had an accident at my home. They were immediately here. I am absolutely certain that they will soon capture these thugs. In the meantime, I will just be more cautious than usual. This area is normally a very safe area.

    • Anonymous on 10.08.2012 at 7:08 am

      I agree. Brookline PD is a fantastic group of committed public servants and they are faster than lightning. Go easy on them, everyone. No doubt they are working hard on this.

    • Kyle on 10.09.2012 at 7:36 am

      Yeah Brookline PD is great at responding real quick when college kids are playing sports at Amory Park. Its when it is convenient for them to show up quick that they do so in these areas. Don’t get me wrong when I say the officer was very nice about it, but they seem to show up a bit faster when its a Brookline resident calling than anyone else. Gotta go where the money is I guess.

  • Alex M on 10.08.2012 at 12:33 am

    Although the victims are BU students, BUPD should not be put under the gun for this. In reality it is outside their jurisdiction. Anything they do to help Boston PD is going beyond the call of duty. THANK YOU BU PD! The perpetrators can not specifically tell if students attend BU and as such these crimes target young people not BU students specifically. Stop over reacting. Crime happens all over Boston. Just because BU has Boston in its name doesn’t make it responsible for what happens OFF campus ( and yes, no matter how close, it IS off campus) I am a student who goes to BU.

    • Student on 10.09.2012 at 9:11 am

      The area stopped being considered “off campus” when BUPD began giving out citations for loud noises and parties in Brookline. If they can do that, they’re responsible for the area all of the time – not just when it’s convenient.

      • Alex M on 10.09.2012 at 9:47 am

        Oh? I did not know this. Fair enough.

        • Huh on 10.09.2012 at 10:23 am

          In my days on campus for my undergraduate degree in the late ’90s, it was always the Boston PD that responded to parties and noise complaints. A BU admin type was usually along for the ride for university disciplinary purposes, but you dealt with the local cops, not BUPD. Or so I observed. Can’t say that I had much time for observation in my grad years, though, so I take it they’ve changed things up a bit?

  • Helenka on 10.08.2012 at 4:00 pm

    Come on, let’s nab these guys

  • BU Mom on 10.09.2012 at 6:12 am

    PLEASE BU, until this wave of crime is over, offer a shuttle to this area. My daughter is so afraid to walk to and from her apartment on Egmont Street that she has been sleeping on friends’ couches when she needs to be on campus until after dark. Even in the middle of the day she is afraid to walk there. It’s not as if she can up and move into a dorm on campus. This area is so close to campus that it would seem that to provide shuttle service would not be too difficult for the university to manage. This is a very stressful and frightening situation.

  • john on 10.09.2012 at 6:46 am

    Well here is what I think
    All the robberies happen in just about the same area Bu PD is unable to find them even at. A block away so I am thinking it could be one of your own students amongest you and someone of you know who it is. Open your mouth and say something before someone does Ger hurt. Also Boston police aswell are involved in the search for these parties but none of you know that so now you have 3 police departments involved so someone can open there mouth and say something to one of them. Somebody saw something and knows something so open up and say something.

  • LN on 10.09.2012 at 7:47 am

    As a first year female graduate student who is new to Boston and living alone, I am very shaken up by these robberies. Many of the people I know live in Brighton or Alston whereas I live near BU campus and therefore do not always have the opportunity to walk in groups at night. I got my Bachelor’s in an area that was not nearly as safe as Boston, but I always felt safe on and off campus at night because of the presence of University Police.

  • Harvard Does on 10.09.2012 at 7:53 am

    Shuttling students personally to their off-campus homes by van when it’s late at night is exactly what some neighboring universities do:


    • Anonymous on 10.09.2012 at 9:29 pm

      although it is a much smaller school, emmanuel college also has a shuttle van available to students in any surrounding area

  • Megan on 10.09.2012 at 8:12 am

    Are video/motion sensitive cameras being used or operable in any of these areas?

  • Jeff Lambe on 10.09.2012 at 8:30 am

    That’s interesting, the entire article, only mentions armed robbers, but never what they were armed with…this seems a bit odd when writing a news story about an “armed” robbery,which is clearly the main point of interest.

    If it was a knife, I’m sure they would have just said, robbed at knife-point or suspect had a knife.

    Deliberately not mentioning this is implicit of two things: first of all they were robbed at gun-point as all of the previous victims were. and secondly, it seems highly plausible that the administration has instructed BU Today to deliberately omit “gun,” most likely to make students feel less threatened and not alarm parents.

    This school is allegedly undertaking a Billion Dollar Fundraising Campaign; That is literally enough money to finance several small wars! Maybe instead of renovating 3 buildings every 6 months, building new student centers, buying entire streets from the city of Boston BU should build a second police station for the BUPD and give Chief Robbins some more staff, as they are clearly stretched to the limit right now (if the BUPD is reading this, your diligence is appreciated). BU acts like it wants to make us safer and stop this crime-wave, but where is the money? Where is the tangible evidence that the size,budget, and influence of the BUPD is increasing enough to meet this need? You can see evidence of the new career center and all of the dorm revamps, and the new BU Malls, why don’t we see a new police station? This school would rather spend money trying to rank closer to Harvard than it would on creating sustainable public safety…that’s sad

  • Concerned Parent/Retired Cop on 10.09.2012 at 8:31 am

    Somebody knows who these robbers are. Whoever it is just doesn’t care or doesn’t have the guts to report them. This is what will bring these fools to justice – some decent person who has the courage to turn them in. Keep up the good work Boston University P.D. (Interesting – the same stuff is going on at the University of Dayton – same suspect descriptions, same M.O. I wonder if there’s any connection? I wonder if the reasons for it happening are the same?)

  • EM on 10.09.2012 at 8:56 am

    People say that BU police has no jurisdiction, but they also have none in Allston but have been able to team up with BPD to crack down on loud parties and underage drinking. Not to say that these aren’t wrong or illegal, but as a priority I feel like they fall after armed robbery. Will it take a rich student’s parents to take action against the school when their son is killed to change the schools safety priorities?

  • Susan on 10.09.2012 at 9:50 am

    All BU students should agree to stop carrying iphones and cash for a few weeks.

    • Worried on 10.09.2012 at 11:19 am

      Not all students have iphones. In one of the robberies android phone was also taken.

      • Susan on 10.09.2012 at 1:19 pm

        *smart phones

        *copious amounts of cash

  • Concerned Student on 10.09.2012 at 9:50 am

    Why can’t BU PD just increase patrols? FOOT PATROLS? Can’t BUPD bait these guys? This is ridiculous, c’mon BUPD just find these guys! We can’t keep living in fear – I haven’t been over to that area of Brookline since everything happened…. this is like terrorizing me bc I don’t want to be robbed.

    • Sigh on 10.09.2012 at 10:11 am

      C’mon, folks. BU is an URBAN university. These things happen, even in Brookline. Yes it absolutely sucks, and yes, hopefully the Brookline PD (you know, the ones with actual jurisdiction) will catch this group soon. But to all the parents and students whining- if you don’t like it, transfer yourself or your kids to Wyoming or ND State or somewhere else, where the biggest risk is getting trampled by a prairie dog on the way to class. You chose to attend school in a city- don’t act all bent out of shape when things that happen in a city occur. Next thing you know you everyone will be complaining about traffic on Comm Ave.

      • Someone on 10.09.2012 at 10:56 am

        YES but these have been a series of ARMED ROBBERIES. All it takes is one accidental movement from the robbers for the gun to discharge. Just like that someone could loose their life over a stupid iphone. I wonder if you were robbed by them then maybe you or your parents would have had a different opinion on this…

        • Sigh on 10.09.2012 at 2:56 pm

          Yes, all of that is true. It is silly to lose one’s life over a phone, wallet, etc. I’m not downplaying the impact, potential or real, of the robbers’ actions- but it is pure silliness (or loose reasoning?) to choose to go to an urban university and then act shocked when urban problems are encountered. Sort of like not knowing the difference between loose and lose.

          • Someone on 10.09.2012 at 10:05 pm

            Yes, but there is a vast difference – a robbery one or two “ok”. But a string of robberies by the same people with a gun…. that is something else. You saying that robberies are to be expected – so what does that mean its ok for me to walk in the Bronx in the middle of the night and expect to be jumped. And then would that be ok since I’d be “Expecting” it? So is that your mentality? I should just surrender and allow people to take my things? NO they are criminals and should be brought to justice.

          • bustudent on 10.09.2012 at 10:12 pm

            Sigh, your reasoning makes no sense and you should really stop trying to justify these robbers actions. just because we are in an urban area doesnt justify armed robberies. this is not an urban problem. this is a matter of safety. and maybe you should stop whining and condemning people for actually wanting to be safe.

          • Sigh on 10.10.2012 at 11:05 am

            BU student- I hope you learn to improve your reading comprehension skills during your time at this fine university. A comment on the probability of an event occurring has nothing to do with a justification for that event. It is simply a comment on the probability of an event, nothing more.

            Someone, read above. It is naive to not expect the possibility of such an event when attending an urban school. That’s not defending the perps, justifying their actions, or stating that such events are “ok”. It’s just acknowledging the reality that such things are more probable in certain environments. As for the just surrender and let them take your things bit- sounds like the prudent thing to do to me. You aren’t actually advocating wrestling with someone brandishing a firearm over a smartphone or pocket money, are you?

  • Danny on 10.09.2012 at 10:01 am

    I don’t know if someone mentioned this already, but since the robbers are stealing iPhones, why not simply use “find my iPhone” feature. Maybe the police can already have a link to the site saved on their PC, and when a robbed person calls, they can quickly log on and track where the phone goes.

    • Concerned parent on 10.09.2012 at 10:47 am

      It was mentioned in the article from the first robbery at gunpoint, that they did that immediately …the ‘find my iPhone’ was disabled already…these thugs know what they are doing.

      • Go BU! on 10.09.2012 at 2:58 pm

        Yes, three successful stickups within blocks of each other in a short period of time indicate to me that their training wheels are long gone.

    • Anonymous on 10.10.2012 at 8:11 am

      There are security apps which improve on “find my iPhone”. Airplane mode can require unlock if phone is set to require pin, some apps will take photos and txt location after excessive unlock attempts…

  • Mike on 10.09.2012 at 10:17 am

    There’s a big difference between being safe and feeling safe. Our school is part of a city that has many problems. It’s easy to forget this. BU works very hard to cultivate a sense of separation from these problems, but when the reality of urban crime bubbles-over into campus life, we’re reminded that this isn’t our city alone. It’s a space we share with many other people–some of whom are troubled and dangerous. Nonetheless, I’m confident we can nab these guys and continue enjoying our positive campus environment.

  • Mo on 10.09.2012 at 10:20 am

    I’m surprised that with all the surveillance/security cameras available in that area and on the T ( the direction they went) with a stop just a short distance away, that they haven’t produced pics from that time frame. All we need is one close up and ID …check those tapes fast before it happens again!

  • Anonymous on 10.09.2012 at 10:43 am

    How about some sting operations?

    • Someone on 10.09.2012 at 10:57 am

      I fully agree! They should do sting operations! I’d even volunteer myself bc those robbers don’t deserve to been freely roaming the streets and doing nothing with their lives except robbing other students.

  • Anonymous on 10.09.2012 at 11:34 am

    …yet BUPD is still busy busting parties in Allston. Round of applause guys you sure are doin this whole “protect and serve” thing right.

  • Nathan on 10.09.2012 at 2:58 pm

    BU should offer a reward for information.

    Someone probably knows something, but they have not contacted the police. This is a busy area in a busy time of day. Even if there are no witnesses, one of the criminals has probably bragged to a friend.

    I think BU should wave a few dollars in the air to attract the attention of the witnesses or others who are keeping it secret. Heck, they could just offer a reward for information on teenagers who have guns in the neighborhood.

    • Scared on 10.09.2012 at 10:50 pm

      Or few thousand dollars considering it cost 50k+ for most students to go here….

  • Go BU! on 10.09.2012 at 3:16 pm

    Good idea. Not too much money, though. We wouldn’t want to impact the university’s ability to buy more city streets and turn them into pedestrian malls. Then they could create a buffer zone to protect all of us. Or maybe that would just create a smorgasbord of students paying attention to their phones more than their surroundings for all the predators.

  • dan dill on 10.09.2012 at 3:29 pm

    #1 The reason they take iphones and phones in general is so that you cannot call 911.

    #2 The police are obviously making an effort

    #3 Somebody made the remark that students should stop carrying iphones and cash. First I don’t own an iphone and I really dont think the brand of phone matters. Second I will not change any aspect of my life for these criminals. Last and most importantly the reason for these robberies is due to the fact that bu students are supposed to be easy targets. This is the part of the equation that is most under your control. Do not make yourself an easy target. Although everyone might not be capable of this it is something that you should think about. Think about it now. I have given this some thought and carry my own protection to supplement that provided by tax dollars.

    -to whom it may concern
    I recognize no duty to retreat and would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6

    • Some guy on 10.09.2012 at 9:56 pm

      I fully agree with your last statement – “I recognize no duty to retreat and would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6”. Amen to that.

  • Really? on 10.09.2012 at 4:00 pm

    I see, so a comment about BU buying streets isn’t allowed, mods? Makes perfect sense.

    • Really? on 10.09.2012 at 4:29 pm

      My apologies, mods. The lag must have messed me up.

  • Anonymous on 10.09.2012 at 9:27 pm


  • Someone else on 10.09.2012 at 10:01 pm

    And as of the text we all got a few minutes ago, there was a fourth robbery :-(
    Please BUPD find these criminals.

  • Someone on 10.09.2012 at 10:14 pm

    A fourth one! This time on COMM AVE!!! What the hell are you cops doing!?

  • Anonymous and Annoyed on 10.09.2012 at 10:16 pm

    Hey BU,

    As a female student in CFA who lives in East Campus, I often find myself making the trek back and forth between west campus and my dorm alone, and at night. I realize that you guys give us tips to keep us safe, such as that we should “walk with buddies,” but the truth is sometimes there isn’t a buddy around to walk with. I realize that you offer us services such as the BU Shuttle and the Escort Service to try to keep us safe, but it’s not as though these services are incredibly convenient: the one time I used the escort service I found myself waiting for 45 minutes to get walked the 2 minute walk from the library to my dorm, and with the attempted robbery outside of 808 Comm Ave, I don’t really feel safe walking to my intended destinations from the bus stops. I’m not accusing you guys of not caring or of not trying to solve the problem, but I just wanted you to know now that after the fourth attempted armed robbery in the vicinity of our campus, I no longer feel safe. I feel as though my right to feel comfortable on this campus has been taken away from me due to the continuing of these attempted armed robberies, and I no longer am happy in considering BU to be my home.

  • India Love on 10.09.2012 at 10:20 pm

    they should quit while they’re ahead. they’re bound to get caught if they keep doing it

    • Geewiz on 10.09.2012 at 10:30 pm

      Or… someone severely hits back at their attackers and severely injures them (like they deserve)…

  • Ann on 10.09.2012 at 10:21 pm

    THIS IS GETTING RIDICULOUS. I don’t think they’re doing an adequate job (I’m sorry, but 4th one in 2 weeks should NOT happen).

    I think that the more angry/worried parents/press we get on this, the better the response will be. Unfortunately, people respond to “public image” and admissions, and colleges are businesses.

  • Worried on 10.09.2012 at 10:36 pm

    My child has lab on Wed. evening from 5-8. I don’t know if he walks with somebody back to his dorm. but I do know when he is in the library late at night he walks back to his dorm with a group of people.

  • Anonymous on 10.09.2012 at 10:37 pm

    How about BU stops wasting money buying streets and pays for more police patrols? How about we stop worrying about parties in Allston and start worrying about BU students getting robbed in broad daylight. The priorities of the BU PD are beyond screwed-up.

    • Anon on 10.09.2012 at 11:30 pm

      I see your point, but it is largely irrelevant. these happened on week nights, not weekends. the larger problem is that I haven’t seen the patrols anywhere…weekend or weekdays, broad daylight or at night.

  • anonymous on 10.09.2012 at 10:41 pm

    This is honestly embarrassing that BU has let another armed robbery happen within the span of two weeks. Especially since this time, it happened on a main throughway on campus, one that should be well-patrolled. I feel terrible for this girl and can only imagine how terrified she must feel. As a young woman myself, I feel very frightened as well.

  • Sophomore Mom on 10.09.2012 at 10:46 pm

    I am a concerned mom whose daughter is a sophomore at BU and I am just not liking this anymore. Why are there not enough police officers out at all hours trying to do something like find these people who are terrorizing the BU Campus? Four times!!!!! This makes no sense and it’s becoming a horrible pattern that is not stopping. I would like to hear from the campus personally, to all parents, about what they are doing to stop this. I do not just want to gets phone calls and texts from my daughter telling me another robbery happened. We should be hearing directly from the school! ASAP. BU Students….stay safe.

    • Go BU! on 10.10.2012 at 10:13 am

      Guess what, BU notifies students immediately via Emergency alert texts and phone calls. You know, the people physically on or around campus and actually at risk.

  • BU PARENT ON THE WARPATH on 10.09.2012 at 10:47 pm

    early last week a suggestion was made that BU offer a reward and after this 4 and most disturbing incident I believe that we as parents need to raise the heat on BU leadership and demand both a meeting with the president and offer a reward of our own and demand that BU match it. At the end of the day these creeps will operate with the arrogance that they have until the table stakes are raised and the rules of the game are changed. Put 50k on the table and I promise that they will get turned in within 72 hours.

    • BU parent on 10.09.2012 at 11:19 pm

      I think BUPD should start doing foot patrols from 5pm to 3am. I think parent weekend ought to be very interesting, with alot of upset parents being there.

  • Andy on 10.09.2012 at 11:04 pm

    As a parent of a freshman daughter this fourth robbery and some of the beauracracy just getting her into a room this fall just cements the decision to seek a transfer. I never saw the physical attraction of the University, but now the atmosphere reminds me more of Mogadishu than some Institute of higher learning where I forking out over 60K a year. I’ll file the papers for her; nice work BU.

    • Go BU! on 10.10.2012 at 11:48 am

      Mogadishu, huh? Interesting. Very interesting. Why not State College, PA, Knoxville, TN, Bethlehem, PA, or Wooster, OH?

      (Just google “armed robbery on campus” and see what pops up- apparently you can’t post links here)

  • SR on 10.09.2012 at 11:12 pm

    I was walking home on the other side of Comm. Ave. right around this time. Didn’t see anything, but am a) surprised (in that drive way off of Comm. Ave? Really? I mean…it was busy out there tonight) and b) unfortunately not surprised (4th time…).

    I find this whole area around BU West seedy, though, and that’s coming from someone who spent nine years in university a city three times the size of Boston.

    I just don’t feel very safe here, and never really have. It’s creepy.

  • Student on 10.10.2012 at 12:38 am

    As a student here, I feel mislead, disheartened, and a tad disgusted with the way that the school has been handling all of these tragedies happening on and around campus. A campaign to raise another billion dollars to the school budget is in full force yet we can’t afford to install surveillance cameras in areas that are normally neglected by patrol? We can afford to purchase new streets, renovate, and construct colossal buildings with high-tech, talking elevators and fingerprint entry to dining halls yet can’t construct a small extension of the BU police department in East/Central campus? This doesn’t add up. As prospective students, we were promised safety, initiative, and a sense of community that we will all feel comfortable and at home with. I don’t feel at home. The extent that these string of robberies and now two bodies found in the Charles River have been addressed to me is via text message or Twitter update. Where is the administrative response to this? I do not hold all blame against BUPD for the lack of effective results seen towards these robberies but something needs to change. This waiting game has gone on far too long. “Safe” hours seem to not even span past 4:30 pm now. And as a final side note, at orientation we were told that it is against the university rules to have pepper spray? Administration, if you’re going to require every student to be unarmed and on top of it, naive and gullible to this “safe community” image that has been created to them, does it shock you that these robberies continue to occur with BU students as victims?

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