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BU Researcher Stabbed in Brookline Robbery

Two suspects sought


A research assistant from the BU Medical Campus was stabbed, punched, and robbed of an iPad by two assailants at 8:32 p.m. Tuesday at the corner of Pleasant Street and Browne Street in Brookline. The victim, a 30-year-old postdoctoral fellow, was treated at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for two superficial stab wounds.

In an emergency alert sent out to the BU community just after 9 p.m., Boston University Police described the suspects as two males, both about six feet tall, both wearing knit caps pulled over their faces. They were said to be wearing fleece pullovers and jeans.

BU Police, Brookline Police, and State Police are searching the area, about five blocks from West Campus, for the suspects.

The BUPD is urging people to avoid the area at this time.

Art Jahnke

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

128 Comments on BU Researcher Stabbed in Brookline Robbery

  • Jay on 01.29.2013 at 10:56 pm

    goodjob bu for keeping us safe

    • Anonymous on 01.30.2013 at 8:00 am

      Self-entitlement much? What would you like the school to do? This is what living in a city is, these crimes happen in a flash, they can’t be everywhere at once, especially locations that aren’t even on campus… (This is technically Brookline PD territory)

      When you move out of on-campus housing, this is a risk you have to expect. Instead of blaming BU, students should learn not to walk with their iDevices out and their heads buried in them. All of the people that nearly slam into me everyday with their head mashed in their phones become prime targets at night when they walk down dark side-streets that way.

      • Anonymous on 01.30.2013 at 9:20 am

        Enhance security like that have done on Baystate Road. I can barely walk a block before spotting security sitting in a car or a police office driving by.

        • WorkSmarter on 01.30.2013 at 10:20 am

          Baystate Road is on campus and I agree that security should be enhanced there. However, this incident occurred a half mile from campus. Nobody with any logic should expect BU to be responsible this deep into Brookline.

      • Anonymous on 01.30.2013 at 10:42 am

        A risk you take when you move off campus? You obviously don’t go here.
        1. All of these incidents occur a few blocks away from campus. Students who live in west campus walk on these streets for various things everyday. What, go to shaws instead of trader joes? Oh there was a robbery there!
        2. Some of the earlier robberies actually occurred on campus. Not to mention a guy in mugar taking pictures of girls.

        Basically if you live on or off campus, you are still at risk. The fact is BU students are being targeted so something needs to be done. Whether that means increased safe ways of getting home, increased police, or safety education for students, there have been too many incidents in a short time, even if we do like in a city.

        • Anonymous on 01.31.2013 at 9:58 pm

          When I was in college in the 80’s there were a series of attacks on women. The university organized a system so that students never had to walk around alone. There was a campus phone number and volunteers available to walk (or drive) us home or anyplace on campus after dark. It certainly helped. Safety in numbers!

      • anonymous on 01.30.2013 at 11:14 am

        You sound entitled to your opinion.
        NYU, UCLA, USC…many campuses across the country have a huge student population living in the city that surrounds the campus. They have great police presence and welll-known strategies for emergencies, such as call buttons at corners to call for help, visible patrols, and more. There is definite responsibility of the city and campus police to do their jobs and protect the citizens that inhabit those areas. Residents have been confronted with guns and knives at all hours, including busy daylight hours. Yes, residents are entitled to police protection as they walk to and from their homes. Period.

        • Anonymous on 01.30.2013 at 11:59 am

          No one argues resident’s aren’t entitled to their safety, and Brookline should be doing more. But this isn’t BU’s fault, it’s out of BUPD’s jurisdiction, period.

        • Local Girl on 01.30.2013 at 5:32 pm

          I’m born and raised from Boston (not outside of Boston, the inner city of Boston) and when I hear about these things happening it doesn’t surprise me. Inner city kids know that a lot of wealthy kids go to BU. They know that students have laptops and electronics on them. Automatically you are talented. I grew up surrounded by this mentality.

          The point is, all of us students need to be smart and aware of our surroundings. Don’t walk alone at night. Don’t have your cell phone in your hand or out at all. Walk swift and with a purpose. If you see people walking towards you, cross the street. Don’t keep your hood up so you can keep your peripheral vision.

          Street smarts people. If you aren’t from a city, start learning them.

          In regards to the victim, my heart goes out to him and my best wishes for a speedy recovery.

        • anonymous on 01.31.2013 at 8:58 am

          I went to USC undergrad. There is a vastly stepped up police force, but it’s well within a square section of off-campus that is composed entirely of students. There’s blue light phones and a “Department of Public Safety” that patrol everywhere.

          There is also many more robberies than at BU, despite their best efforts. The point being…BU isn’t as well defined as USC. Most of the USC population is well within a couple square blocks, this is not the case for BU, and thus is much harder to patrol. Also, despite what is done, robberies are going to happen if people don’t pay attention to their surroundings. BU students are easy targets, and they know this. Stop being an easy target.

    • George on 01.30.2013 at 9:09 am

      Blame BU? Look at a map. We are almost in Coolidge here. Why is BU responsible for patrolling off campus? How about Brookline gets their three police details out of the TJs lot and put my tax $ to better use. The school on Lenox street just over the Brookline border now leaves its outside flood lights on at night because the single street light there is never on. Knyvet park has ZERO lights. If I’m going to get mugged at least let me see what I’m doing, Brookline. If you want to blame BU, blame the gaudy iPhone crowd living on daddy’s dime in that building (read: bubble) with the European used car lot.

      • Student on 01.30.2013 at 10:10 am

        You must not be a BU student. That spot is a block away from the last 6 robberies that have occurred and is only two blocks away from BU’s “campus”. Egmont, Thatcher, Freeman, and Browne street are where a LARGE portion of BU’s off campus students are. BU knows this because they frequently intrude on off campus “parties” in that area. Since August at least 6 students have been held up at gunpoint a mere block away from Comm ave. This IS BU’s responsibility. $60,000 and they can’t even have one BUPD car patrol that area. Just add this to the laundry list of recent administration failures.

        • G on 01.30.2013 at 10:24 am

          Money has nothing to do with BU not patrolling that area. They don’t have jurisdiction to do so. Once you cross Comm Ave, you’re in Brookline, which is independent of Boston.

          • m donohue on 01.30.2013 at 2:16 pm

            I guess crossing Commonwealth Ave and going into Warren, the Business School and the other BU bldgs puts the BU security out of juristiction

          • Anonymous on 01.30.2013 at 10:44 pm

            @m donohue

            The buildings on the other side of Comm Ave ARE under BU jurisdiction, but once you enter the side streets, they are not. (Where the little signs “Entering City of Brookline” are)

        • WorkSmarter on 01.30.2013 at 10:25 am

          BU has no jurisdiction over the area where this latest incident occurred. Your energy would be better spent appealing to the Brookline PD to increase their patrols and presence.

          You may have an argument that BU should assist with patrolling the edges of “campus”, ie Egmont, Dummer, Thatcher. However, the area of Browne Street is way off campus and deep into Brookline territory.

        • George on 01.30.2013 at 10:25 am

          You must be an undergraduate student who feels entitled to certain things. Browne St is ~5 blocks (or almost 0.5 mi) from Comm Ave (BU Campus). I’m sorry that they break up your soirees on Saturday nights. If you were familiar with the area, you’d also know how poorly lit it is compared to similar parts of Boston. I’m just saying Brookline ought to improve the lighting situation around CC, that’s all. Or maybe we’d all be better off if the “BU Brookline Campus” that you’re alluding to just became swipe card access after hours.

          • self-entitled BU student on 01.30.2013 at 11:59 am

            Wow, this is great – a resident of the oh-so-hardscrabble community of Brookline talking about gaudiness and self-entitlement :)

        • SMH on 01.30.2013 at 10:33 am

          What part of “off campus” do you not understand? If you choose to leave the BU residential system, then BU is not responsible for providing security for your residence.

          As a former resident of Egmont Street and two-time alum, all I can say is I’m appalled at the sense of entitlement displayed by some current students.

        • Student 2 on 01.30.2013 at 3:31 pm

          I find it interesting that everyone is saying off campus isn’t within BU’s jurisdiction and yet I see BUPD cars on ashford, pratt, and gap every single weekend night. So are they only responsible for us when they want to catch us breaking laws but not when we’re getting mugged. Anyone saying BUPD has no responsibility blatantly does not live in the area where these robberies are occurring.

          • Or maybe they know the law on 01.30.2013 at 3:54 pm

            BUPD doesn’t have jurisdiction over the GAP area- that’s why the BPD tags along. If they nail you for a party, you deal with BPD and Brighton District Court. BU picks at your carcass afterwards. Not that I’m typing from, ahem, personal experience, ahem.

      • Student on 01.30.2013 at 10:21 am

        And not everyone in that area is living on “daddy’s dime”. And that assertion that everyone there is European is quite the racial generalization.

        • George on 01.30.2013 at 11:11 am

          I’m referring to the inordinate number of Audi, Mercedes Benz and BMWs. I didn’t say that everyone there was European. Most are actually probably not from Europe…

      • Lou on 01.30.2013 at 11:37 am

        I don’t think BU or the Brookline or Boston PD have dropped the ball. There have been major changes recent years. Most students carry smart phones and some also carry laptops and other electronic devices. When I was in college in the 80’s, unless I needed my meal card, I literally walked around my college’s (enclosed) campus with empty pockets. I imagine BU students did, too. The other change is social media-we learn about and can voice our opinion in real time.
        Think about it: BU is a very large university full of students walking around with (easy to fence) smartphones/laptops/tablets, in a ‘city campus’ setting —an easy getaway.
        Northeastern and NYU are smaller universities, but also have ‘city campuses’. I wonder if they’re experiencing the same types of crimes (of opportunity)?

        • Alum on 01.30.2013 at 11:51 am

          Not at Northeastern this year so far and the area on two sides of NU are supposedly more dangerous than Allston/Brookline.

    • Petition for More Police on 01.30.2013 at 11:31 am

      PETITION: Guys, if you are a concerned BU student or resident, please sign the petition to drive awareness to Brookline Town Manager and Police Department that we are concerned


  • John on 01.29.2013 at 11:49 pm

    How many robberies and assaults have occurred in this area this academic year? Why are you not reporting this incident in context? Robberies on 9/23, 9/25, 10/5, and 10/9; at least five assaults between 10/1 and 11/14; “TRAGIC STABBIING DEATH” during the winter recess; another robbery on 1/19; tonight, a robbery and “superficial stab wounds” – who knows what all has gone unreported or reported and undisclosed to the public. It’s only a matter of time before “SERIOUSLY INJURED” or “KILLED.”

    I travel on Pleasant, St. Paul, Amory – often after dark. So does my partner. Sometimes we can’t help but travel alone. We should not need FEAR FOR OUR LIVES.

    • BU Alum on 01.30.2013 at 7:34 am

      What do you propose BU do? Put a wall around the city and deny entry to “suspicious” looking people?

    • Thuy on 01.30.2013 at 7:40 am

      John has a good point. We find a better way of de dealing with these crimes.

    • Lisa on 01.30.2013 at 8:12 am

      The situation in this area has got out of control. BU, local and state police need to proactively address this issue with regular patrols, undercover patrols, whatever it takes. Yesterday a Brookline policeman told me he would not walk alone in this area after dark. After dark?! What level of crime have the police decided we should tolerate here?

    • J on 01.30.2013 at 8:42 am

      I completely agree. I live on St. Paul and I’m forced to walk home late at night during the week due to late night work shifts. I had no idea there was a tragic stabbing over the winter recess and I was actually in Boston during the break. The Brookline PD hasn’t had to worry about serious danger in the last 5 years and clearly isn’t prepared to protect us against these assaults and robberies. Their job description has expanded beyond breaking up drunken college parties and they clearly need to step it up. This is getting out of hand. People pay high rent to live in Brookline in order to avoid this type of danger and now they’re afraid to walk to their homes late at night. Do I really need to resort to walking around with a weapon in order to protect myself in Brookline these days? Something really needs to be done immediately.

    • Semarie on 01.30.2013 at 8:57 am

      I totally agree with you!!! Last semester there was during i had a night class and most of those nights the Sox had a game so i was always forced to look for parking REALLY FAR! I called one time to get police escort after midnight but i waited n no1 showed up i had to walk to my car alone. I was terrified like hell bt i thank God nothing happened to me… They shld do smthing about this!!!!

      • Hmmm on 01.30.2013 at 10:18 am

        If you ever find yourself in trouble be sure to call 911

  • Grad Student on 01.30.2013 at 7:24 am

    I’m confused what it is people expect the BUPD or Boston PD or Brookline PD to do about this. I know you’re all still mad about the alcohol enforcement because it means you can’t drink illegally but, honestly, how do you expect the police to prevent this? Let’s get some concrete ideas flowing.

    • mike on 01.30.2013 at 9:51 am

      Let’s see. Ignoring the fact that you seem to believe that police have no obligation to protect us, here are some suggestions:
      1) decrease response times to crimes like these.
      2) more efficient allocation of police resources
      3) overhaul of the emergency alert system
      4) more visible police presence in these problem areas. A sleeping cop parked on Ashford street doesn’t cut it
      5) better investigative work
      6) better communication between departments
      7) better communication with students

      should I continue?

      • Seriously? on 01.30.2013 at 10:13 am

        Yeah. Anyone can say I want “more” of this or better “that”. How about some concrete steps on how to achieve your vague objectives?

        • mike on 01.30.2013 at 10:29 am

          How concrete would you like me to be? Going into the details of what I just discussed could fill a 50 page paper. I am not the strategist employed by these police departments, I an merely offering jumping off points because they were requested.

          • Seriously? on 01.30.2013 at 11:26 am

            I’m sorry Mike, but how about just a little? The request was for “concrete ideas”, not “jumping off points”. Contribute something besides snark and empty jingoisms such as “more efficient allocation of resources”. Don’t act like you offered an exhaustive list of ideas when you offered nothing.

            Do you propose stationing uniformed and undercover officers on every block in Brookline? How about a public information campaign countering the image of BU students as easy targets? How about arming BU students with pepper spray, or modifying policies to make carrying it easier? How about installing video cameras on every corner? Or round the clock, individualized surveillance of every BU student so robots can swoop in and protect them? (Sorry about that, it is hard to keep the snark under control, I’ll grant you that).

            What specific, concrete action do you think Brookline PD could undertake that would help end this ongoing string of robberies? I don’t type this question to cajole or mock, but if this situation is to change, we need specific, actionable ideas that can be implemented. Maybe yours is the one that can turn the tide.

        • Lisa on 01.30.2013 at 12:07 pm

          Why are you so angry that we’d like the police to do more to address this growing problem? Throw some human resources at it. I think it’s ludicrous to say our Brookline PD is incapable of coming up with strategies to address an increase in muggings. A sense of entitlement has nothing to do with it.

          • Seriously? on 01.30.2013 at 12:53 pm

            Angry? About wanting police to do more? How in the world do you arrive at that from asking someone to provide specific suggestions? Where did I mention entitlement?

            I don’t know about anger, but the reading comprehension skills displayed by some posters is certainly disappointing to me, to say the least.

      • Dan on 01.30.2013 at 12:43 pm

        1) First, do you know what their response times are? Second, the police don’t just magically teleport there, they have to drive through awful Boston traffic to get there. BUPD response times are far better than BPD response times.
        2) Do you know how they allocate their resources? They don’t know where the next crime is going to happen so they can’t always be sitting a block away.
        3) It’s not like the cop shows up on scene and immediately goes to his computer to put out an alert. They have to deal with the situation first and investigate to find out what happened. It Brookline PD gets there first they have to inform BUPD about what happened. We are lucky to have any type of alert system, unlike non-BU residents who live in that area and don’t know what’s happening. I think the last alert, which was sent out about 30mins after the incident was very fast.
        4) There are more police out there than you think, they just aren’t all in marked cars. Also, hiring more police means more money. This area is also Brookline’s responsibility.
        5) Do you know how they investigate crimes? It doesn’t work like CSI does on tv. You can’t just pick up a hair and get the DNA and find the robber…
        6) Again, do you know how they communicate? I don’t so it’s possible that they need better communication. However, I know the BUPD listens to other police frequencies so they know what’s going on around the city.
        7) Again, the BU alert system is improving and has been effective in the past. Maybe people should be less afraid of the BUPD and not so negative towards them and approach them if they have a problem or a question. Also, don’t forget about their anonymous tip line.

        – Suggestions are great, but like “Seriously?” said, think them through a little more.
        In my opinion, the police are doing fine. It’s my fellow BU students that need to be more aware of their surroundings and not walk down the street late at night with headphones in your ears while texting people. While I don’t know the circumstances of this latest incident, I’m sure he was looking at his iPad since it was stolen from him and I’m sure he didn’t notice the two masked men in front of him until it was too late. We do live in a city, crime happens. Be aware and prepared to run away or defend yourself.

        • BU Student with Common Sense on 01.30.2013 at 1:51 pm

          This is by far the most intelligent comment on here ^. Just because we “shouldn’t have to be afraid” of getting mugged doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take precautions ourselves. You certainly won’t see me walking around with my nose buried in my iPhone or iPad (not that we know that was the case with this robbery, but still). I value those possessions and value my safety, so I can wait to tweet or send that text until I get home. Of course having these things out of sight will not guarantee I don’t get mugged, but it certainly makes me look like less of an easy target.
          While I don’t disagree that increased patrols might be nice and might do something to curb the crime rate in the area, the police are not magic. As Dan pointed out, they cannot be everywhere at once and they are actively improving things like response time in an effort to make us safer.

        • mike on 01.30.2013 at 3:38 pm

          You’re right, I don’t know the exact mechanisms of how these police departments work, and I also don’t have access to data such as response times which is why I made general suggestions and avoided getting into “concrete” facts as others had suggested I should. However the issues I brought up can all be addressed in some way and improved upon, but it seems to me and many others that the police are doing very little to improve on these issues, instead continuing to take a strictly reactionary approach to crime. Almost all of the robberies this year have occurred within a few blocks of each other, yet walking through that area very rarely do you see patrol cars. On the other hand, there is a BPD officer parked on Ashford terrace every day of the week doing absolutely nothing. That is what I was referring to when I mentioned allocation of resources. So, while I admit that, as a civilian, I am unsure of exactly how these departments should improve upon the issues I mentioned, there are some very visible aspects of their policies that need revamping.

          • Dan on 01.30.2013 at 4:36 pm

            In regards to the police “taking a strictly reactionary approach to crime,” that is the main job of policing. I forget the exact statistics but the large majority of police work is arriving on scene after something has happened and doing an investigation. It is very rare for a police officer to arrive while a crime is being committed or to have one committed right in front of him. Although this is what is portrayed in movies and in the news, it rarely happens. As stated before, the police can’t be everywhere at all times and they can’t just magically show up the second you dial 911. It takes them time to respond.
            As for the cops sleeping in parking lots, it may not seem like they are doing a lot bu they are in fact doing exactly what you recommend. They are acting as a deterrent. How do you know that someone wasn’t going to commit a robbery on that street and saw the police officer so instead went to a different street? While it would be nice if a cop could sit on every corner, this is not reasonable because it would cost a fortune to hire that many officers and keep up with that large a fleet of vehicles. The police can only do so much. Citizens have to do their part and not rely 100% on the police.
            As for the people bashing them for breaking up parties instead of preventing robberies: People have stated that it is the job of the police to keep everyone safe. Is a large group of 18 year olds binge drinking not an unsafe situation? If they didn’t break up these parties then there would probably be kids dieing from drinking too much alcohol. Whats the difference between a kid who died from drinking and a kid who died from getting stabbed during a robbery? They are trying to keep us safe. Maybe we should cut back on the partying a little so the police can put their resources into patrols instead.
            I won’t say the police are doing everything 100% perfectly because I am also a civilian and do not know their statistics or how they operate. However, I think people need to cut them some slack and take their personal safety into their own hands. Be alert while walking, walk in groups, and call the police if you see something suspicious. Keep your phone and iPod in your pocket until you get home. You could even carry pepper spray if it will make you feel safer. While this may not be completely legal to have on BU property unfortunately, as the saying goes, “I would rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6.”

          • mike on 01.30.2013 at 9:17 pm

            I appreciate that response because unlike a lot of other comments on this article, I think you have made some very valid points. That being said, I think you missed one of the main points i was trying to make. The fact is, the vast majority of the robberies this semester have occurred in a very small area. Whether this has to do with the darkness of the streets in this area, the predominantly student population, or some other variable, I cannot say. What I can say for certain is that police should be increasing their presence in these areas where the safety of pedestrians is clearly in jeopardy and focus on the crimes that actually hurt people. As a senior at BU, I can confidently say that walking down a “party street” or being inside a party has never scared me the way that these recent crimes have.
            18 year olds in almost all cases can drink without harming themselves or others just as they do in almost every other country in the world and that is a different issue that I could argue for days. Robberies, however, always have a victim and should be pursued much more vehemently than an underage drinking offense. I understand that not every crime of this nature can be solved, but the track record of all the local police departments is embarrassing. It is an invitation for more criminals to come to brookline and the BU campus and prey on students because they have no fear of the repercussions because frankly, there have been none.

      • Anon on 01.30.2013 at 5:22 pm

        “police have no obligation to protect us”

        Castle Rock v. Gonzales.

    • Student 2 on 01.30.2013 at 3:37 pm

      When the first four robberies earlier in the year happened there were patrol cars on multiple street blocks from around 5-who knows when. After they caught the robbers, they eventually stopped doing that. How about bringing those patrol cars back since we obviously need them.

  • Jim on 01.30.2013 at 7:57 am

    John, that’s true. Maybe you should tell that to the police, and not the journalists of BU Today.

    • Student on 01.30.2013 at 10:15 am

      Hey Jim,

      Some of us have tried that route. The BU police department grunts at any suggestion that what they are doing is not working. They refuse to escort any nervous citizens, and often hang up when you are mid sentence. Some of us are looking for a better outlet. I can’t stand posts like yours, be a part of the solution not the problem.

      I had a friend call BUPD over the summer one night asking what she could do to make herself less of a target as she often walks the St. Paul area at night to get home. The officer on the other end of the phone shouted “You’ll be fine” and hung up. Is this how BU students are to be treated?

    • ME on 01.30.2013 at 10:47 am

      And you should start with the Brookline Police Department.

  • SR on 01.30.2013 at 7:57 am

    Hopefully they catch the perpetrators, and yes–too much of this is going on here.

    But–and this is coming from someone who spent just shy of 10 years at a major urban university in a city twice the size of Boston–what’s with this idea that BU is responsible for everything that happens to its students?

    There’s this strange infantilization that happens on this campus, whether its parents posting concerned posts on here imploring BU to ‘keep their kids safe’; students upbraiding BU for not doing enough when most of these are off-campus issues; or students insisting that the BU bus go up and into Allston when transporting students.

    Sure, BU can do something. But at the same time, just because you’re a student doesn’t mean you’re entitled to full-out protection. If you work downtown, is your employer responsible for keeping you safe when you walk home? No. Of course not.

    So why is BU? This isn’t elementary school anymore. We’re adults.

    • Well said on 01.30.2013 at 9:23 am

      I agree with you completely except that last assertion. Clearly, the comments you reference seem to indicate otherwise.

    • Anonymous on 01.30.2013 at 10:30 am

      With all do respect, it is not infantilization that is going on. Should people be more careful ? Yes. Do we live in a city? Yes. But the fact is people are reacting precisely because this area is known to be safe and all of a sudden in the past year violence and robberies has increased tremendously. So what isn’t being done now that was not done before? Students shouldn’t be being picked off one by one like this and I think what is making the whole bu community upset is that while this is going on, all we hear about is an increase in enforcement in Allston to stop parties. It is not simply that we want to drink. We want to know that the pd’s resources are actually being allotted in a way to keep us safe! I so acknowledge that BUPD may not be able to control Brookline, but they could work with Brookline PD.

      • Anonymous on 01.30.2013 at 10:31 am

        What isn’t being done now that was done before*

      • Lily on 02.01.2013 at 11:18 am

        I’m tired of hearing “all BUPD does is crack down on drinking”. You’re forgetting about the middle man, AKA the journalists. BUPD and BPD do alcohol patrols in ashford and the gap in response to an official request from the Mayor of Boston. The fact that they’re the only thing you’ve been hearing about BUPD doing is because that’s the only thing the journalists are reporting. You’re not getting the full story, and it’s wise to remember that all media comes with a bias. I’m a civilian so I can’t tell you everything that BUPD is doing, but I guarantee that it’s more than what you read in the paper or online.

    • mike on 01.30.2013 at 10:32 am

      BU is responsible for what happens to students because they employ a 60 man police force out of our tuition. To say that it is not right to feel entitled to protection FROM THE POLICE is absurd. Their entire job description is ensuring the safety of the student population. My employer is not responsible for my protection because my employer does not employ a police force that is paid for out of my salary.

      • ME on 01.30.2013 at 10:53 am

        Oh, my. The BUPD has a jurisdiction just like the Brookline and Boston Police. Their jurisdictions are the two Boston University campuses (Charles River and Medical Campus). Brookline’s jurisdiction is Brookline. Police Departments can call each other for help in an emergency and frequently do, but the assisting agency returns to its own area of responsibility as soon as the emergency is under control. The BUPD’s responsibility is to do as much as it can to keep its campuses and everyone on them safe, NOT to keep BU students safe wherever they are or wherever they live.

        • mike on 01.30.2013 at 12:28 pm

          The BUPD employs the help of Boston police when it comes to breaking up parties, so why can’t the two departments increase their cooperation in an emergency situation where BU students are clearly being targeted? Good police work will lead to more arrests, and once potential muggers realize that arrests are consistently being made, the crimes will decrease. There may be nothing that can be done to prevent robberies before the fact, but the best we can do is show criminals that if they commit these crimes they will be arrested. And in all honesty, Boston and Brookline (yes, and BU even though it is technically out of their jurisdiction) police departments are currently doing an abhorrent job deterring criminals. It’s almost laughable how easy it seems to be to rob someone in this area.

    • Alumnus on 01.30.2013 at 10:52 am

      Couldn’t agree more. BU offers every single one of its students housing for 4 years. If a student choses to not use this method in which BU does indeed guarantee the best efforts to keep them safe, why should the university be held responsible?

      The security in the dorms is incredible, especially considering the size of the student population. And for those commenting on response time, take a quick survey of universities world-wide and you’ll find that you are criticizing a university that is amongst the fastest and most efficient responders.

      Do your homework and chose wisely when living off-campus. Factor in security as well as price. Also, make sure the BUPD number is in your quick dials. Even though this is Brookline’s territory, BUPD will always take a call from someone in the community and they’re very speedy to respond.

  • Sarah on 01.30.2013 at 8:14 am

    With 3 police departments patrolling this area, BU, Boston, and Brookline, there is absolutely no reason this should keep happening. Maybe they should stop focusing all their energy and manpower on busting parties, and should start put more cars in other areas so there isn’t an another armed robbery or another injury.

    • ME on 01.30.2013 at 10:56 am

      This makes no sense. Have you no concept of the area involved? the police DO move continually through these areas, but clever people who want to steal things wait until the patrol car passes to do what they came to do. The attention to alcohol violations is in direct response to a mandate from the May or of Boston; you may want to be in touch with him.

  • Student on 01.30.2013 at 8:15 am

    Another person robbed, better step up the party brigade this weekend

    • Student on 01.30.2013 at 12:23 pm


  • mike on 01.30.2013 at 8:15 am

    Just another indication of BUPD’s stellar police work. Now how do I apply for a concealed carry permit?

    • Student 86 on 01.30.2013 at 9:51 am

      Mike, city of Boston does not permit CCW for its residents, all are denied, I would imagine Brookline is the same.

      Not that it would be much of a solution to being surprised by two assailants with knives at close range. You’d be better off carrying salt in your pockets and getting better at sprinting.

    • Come on on 01.30.2013 at 9:56 am

      Look at the map. This is WAY off campus and not at all the responsibility of BU.

      • Student on 01.30.2013 at 10:17 am

        Two blocks is not WAY off campus. If you don’t live here, you don’t know.

        • Come on on 01.30.2013 at 12:02 pm

          That’s actually about five blocks. And I do live here. BUPD has no jurisdiction in my neighborhood.

          Brookline PD are responsible for policing Brookline. Direct your comments accurately.

    • anon on 01.30.2013 at 11:09 am

      This is just an idiotic statement. Do you honestly expect BUPD to be everywhere at all times?

      Even with stepped up patrols, stuff like this will still happen.

  • Sherwin on 01.30.2013 at 8:29 am

    Brookline, the new Brooklyn

    • JB on 01.30.2013 at 9:45 am

      With all due respect, I’ve lived in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens over the course of the last 10 years. I feel safer in each of those boroughs – at any given time of day or night – than I do when I visit my buddy in Brookline. What’s going on in Boston?! My wife and I are planning a move home and it seems like this and other areas in Boston are a war zone.

      • Rock on 01.30.2013 at 12:24 pm

        Its not a warzone, just thugs preying on unsuspecting students. Happens at every university. In fact, I go to Brown now, in Providence, and the same problems are here. Students get jumped and robbed of their phones or computers. Its just criminals from the hood infiltrating campus looking for easy money.

        Ways to reduce the problem
        -SafeRide –A free university shuttle service for late night transport. Students sign up, get picked up at university location and dropped off at home…i’m not actually sure if that would work in Boston, but it does here.
        -They already have the service where they send a couple people to walk you home…forget what its called…larger groups would dissuade criminals.

    • bk on 01.30.2013 at 10:48 am

      I’m from Brooklyn, NY and I take major offense to that. Don’t talk negatively about a place without ever having lived there.

      • Sherwin on 01.30.2013 at 11:59 am

        Ok take major offense. Note that “new” indicates a change in time. Where was the murder Capitol of the US in 1990? Even today I wouldn’t go to east ny. So I’ll draw parallels how I please especially since I have lived in bk. have a nice, non stabby day

        • AP on 01.30.2013 at 2:33 pm

          According to the New York Times archives, the Murder Capitol of the US in 1990 was Washington, DC, followed by New Orleans, Detroit, Dallas, Baltimore, Houston, Cleveland, Memphis, Philadelphia and New York.

          But yes, in 1990, there were no Bugaboo strollers in Park Slope, if that’s what you’re getting at.

  • Paul Horn on 01.30.2013 at 8:36 am

    Good grief. If the Coolidge Corner area isn’t safe at that time of night, then what neighborhood is? Have the police considered planting some undercover “decoys” to nab these hooligans (though I suppose that announcing this would defeat the purpose)?

  • Someone on 01.30.2013 at 8:47 am

    We also need more details. Did the victim resist and therefore get stabbed? Or did the victim get stabbed even when they were ready to give up their valuables?

    I sure do feel unsafe.

    Perhaps we need to do more charity in the surrounding neighborhoods. :(
    Robberies happen where there is inequality.

    • The more things change... on 01.30.2013 at 10:27 am

      This sort of thing has been going on in the neighborhoods surrounding BU forever. I remember when students were getting mugged around Ashford back in my undergrad days in the mid/late 90s, and Linden convenience used to be robbed at gunpoint every other week it seemed. All part of living in a large urban center, folks. If you want a secluded, sheltered college experience, don’t choose to go to a school in the middle of the city.

      • Urbanite on 01.30.2013 at 11:02 am

        I’m sorry but this is not “just what happens when you live in an urban city.” I have lived in and visited cities in the US and abroad of varying sizes, and I have never felt as unsafe as I sometimes do in Boston. Chicago, London, Manhattan, Philly, Rome, Amsterdam. Not a care in the world, but if I’m caught late at night in various parts of Boston/Harvard area, I keep my keys close at hand and hide all valuables as much as possible. Boston has some serious social issues it needs to address if it wants to fix the crime rate. Chalking it up to urban living is irresponsible and small-minded.

        • The more things change... on 01.30.2013 at 11:38 am

          So is waltzing around Chicago, London, Manhattan, Philly, Rome, and Amsterdam with “not a care in the world”, I would say. Or maybe naieve.

          The point was that what is currently occurring is nothing new. There has always been crime in and around the BU campus- on the other hand, there have not always been immediate calls and text messages warning individuals of such. I appreciate the warnings, but maybe that contributes to the feeling unsafe bit some, too.

  • lz on 01.30.2013 at 9:08 am

    in the greater context, we do live in an academic area where students commonly carry around valuable items and are a natural target for robberies. these robberies has always happened and we are now kept better informed. on the other hand, greater context also includes budget cuts at the school and state level, likely affecting the presence/staffing level of law enforcement and also probably some complication due to the fact that many of these attacks take place on the border of two municipalities. improvements can surely be made, but we can’t fault law enforcement for asking people to take reasonable, personal precautions. police can’t be everywhere, all the time.

    • Jay on 01.30.2013 at 10:25 am

      You’re right, the police cannot be everywhere all the time. Still, I believe that the police would be sure to dispatch a car or two, in order to be constantly doing rounds in the area due to such a high density of crime over the last few months. Perhaps after (some determined amount of time), were no assaults/robberies/stabbings are reported, they can slowly dissipate from the area. I’d be hard-pressed to find another area in Brookline where repetitive crimes are committed on such a consistent basis.

  • JY on 01.30.2013 at 9:59 am

    People really need to stop blaming the cops (especially BUPD).. I mean, you’re in a city and things like that happen in cities. (duh..) Boston is already much safer compare to a lot of the cites i’ve been to/lived.. just be careful when you go out late at night, and you’re gonna be just fine.

    • ML on 01.30.2013 at 10:28 am

      Be careful and you’ll be fine? A student was robbed a gunpoint 2 blocks from campus with two male friends. Everyone’s suggestion seems to be not walking alone at night but that is obviously not a solution. Lets get some streetlights and patrols in the area instead of blaming the victims. I take night classes so I can work during the day to afford higher rent in “safe” Brookline and there is no public transportation or bu shuttle to Brookline from comm ave. I call the escort service every night and they have answered/shown up twice. I am out of options for personal safety and scared.

    • MM on 01.30.2013 at 10:46 am

      “just be careful when you go out late at night, and you’re gonna be just fine.” Really? This used to mean avoid areas like the old Combat Zone or Uphams Corner around 2-4am. Now it means we can’t walk around Coolidge Corner after dinner without the fear of being stabbed.

      I don’t understand the people who throw their hands up and say nothing can or should be done. Just because some students come on here whining about their “right” to underage drinking doesn’t mean the problem can be ignored.

  • Don on 01.30.2013 at 10:14 am

    This crime problem around the campus is very easy to fix: installing security cameras on all major BU properties and surrounding roadways. To BU administration and BU police: talk is cheap; be proactive; it’s time to invest in the security cameras that would safeguard the community.

    • ME on 01.30.2013 at 10:59 am

      Again, oh my. These cameras you talk about can’t just be put up in Brookline and on other people’s streets and buildings! Gd grief—go ask these questions to the City of Brookline and offer them your solutions!

    • Come on on 01.30.2013 at 4:23 pm

      Clearly not a privacy advocate, eh? You might want to live in the UK with your big brotherly love.

  • AP on 01.30.2013 at 10:19 am

    There is a sizable housing project in Brookline at St. Paul and Amory/Egmont. Just because an area is cute does not mean it is safe.

    • really... on 01.30.2013 at 11:23 am

      what does a housing project have to do with anything? Desperate people do desperate things to get money and unfortunately innocent people get hurt. And its wrong 110% but the police are going above and beyond to catch these people and will catch them. You should not have to be afraid and keep expencive items away, but with all the crime happening its only the smart thing to do and the safer thing to do obviously….

      • SMG Student on 01.30.2013 at 11:35 am

        They have caught 1/5. Another 1/5 turned themselves in. Pretty poor track record. I don’t blame the police. Its nearly impossible to prevent crime like this.

    • Poor people are good, too on 01.30.2013 at 4:25 pm

      Everyone identified thus far has come here from outside to rob students. The subsidized housing in Brookline don’t make it UNsafe. Financially desperate thugs are self-importing.

    • Kristen on 01.30.2013 at 6:31 pm

      Your comment is incredibly offensive. I spent all summer working with people who were trying to preserve their housing vouchers, and believe me, most would never do something like this and put their living situation in jeopardy. Please try to be more sensitive.

  • MB on 01.30.2013 at 10:19 am

    They should place a BU cop on Browne, St. Pauls, Pleasant, and Babcock. I realize that BU Police doesn’t have jurisdiction in Brookline, but seeing as the majority of the victims are BU students it should be considered a Boston University safety risk

    • ME on 01.30.2013 at 11:00 am

      Please look at what you wrote. No jurisdiction= Brookline should be doing this in Brookline.

  • NY mom on 01.30.2013 at 10:34 am

    I lived in Hell’s KItchen in Manhattan through the dark days of the late 70s and early 80s, before gentrification, and there was not this frequency of what we used to call “muggings”. And I do believe the university has a responsibility to see that it’s relationships with its neighboring districts is good enough that a joint task force can be put together to see that our children are kept safe. Certainly we should insist that an appropriate portion of the exorbitant tuition we pay goes to seeing our kids survive their educational experience in Boston.

  • SMG Student on 01.30.2013 at 11:02 am

    I think the issue here is either that BU has to provide for our safety or allow us to provide for our own safety.
    The school expressly prohibits any method of self defense among its students. While I can certainly see the logic behind this in a campus situation this means there is a mandate that they must provide for our safety since we cannot provide for our own.

    Based on the huge number of muggings and relatively few arrests this area is becoming a major target.

    • staff on 01.30.2013 at 2:12 pm

      “the school expressly prohibits any method of self defense among its students” Where did you get that? BU Police offer a RAD class to all female faculty/staff & students.

      • Anon on 01.30.2013 at 5:13 pm

        You can’t carry so much as pepper spray on campus, even if you’re licensed by the state to do so. No amount of RAD is going to stop an armed assailant. This is a policy that I disagree with on ideological and practical grounds.

      • SMG Student on 01.30.2013 at 7:01 pm

        RAD is a joke. As someone who as actually learned to fight I can tell if you ever try half of that you are asking more to get hurt then anything else.

    • Another SMG Student on 01.30.2013 at 5:27 pm

      I very much agree with the fact that students are unable to protect themselves. It is unfortunate that most colleges in the US have to be gun-free and even weapon-free zones. I don’t understand why there are still people out there who think this is a good idea. A sign saying “No Guns Allowed” isn’t going to stop criminals from bringing weapons into the building. It only stops the law abiding students and staff who are then left defenseless. As a BU student who has a license to carry and owns a handgun, I don’t see why I should be able to carry it to the mall and carry it to the movies yet I can’t bring it to class at SMG or to the GSU. In fact, I can (and have) walk down Comm Ave legally carrying my gun but if I step into a BU building then it is suddenly illegal because I am somehow not competent enough to bring it on school property. This means I must leave my gun at home and be unprotected going to and from class. As crazy as it may seem to anti-gun people, I think allowing weapons to be carried on campus by TRAINED, LAW-ABIDING students who are capable of being mature and responsible should be considered. In fact, some state universities out west are already doing this. Check out Student for Concealed Carry.

  • Brooklyn mom on 01.30.2013 at 11:07 am

    I live in Brooklyn and have lived here for 35 years. In NY it is fairly common knowledge not to walk around with valuables in plain sight but we also do not get robbed at gunpoint on such a frequent basis. This is an intense increase in crime in a relatively small area. I also believe that the robberies have been directed at BU students. I would respectfully request that the BU security department increase their patrols of the area where these crimes have occurred. And if some of the larger apartment complexes want to continue to benefit from the rental income provided by BU students, then perhaps they should request their local police to increase the patrols of the immediate vicinity as well.

  • BU Prof on 01.30.2013 at 11:10 am

    Was anyone else notified 16 times by cell phone or with 8 separate text messages about this incident? I wouldn’t mind so much except I am traveling for work and received these calls and messages all at 2 am. This happens every time there is a BU emergency. What is wrong with the emergency system?

  • Why Now? on 01.30.2013 at 11:39 am

    Why is there such a marked increase in crime this year?

    • SMG Student on 01.30.2013 at 11:48 am

      The first crimes were so hard to catch that it made the area an obvious target of very high value targets with minimal risks.

      • Student on 01.30.2013 at 1:13 pm

        Agreed, SMG student.

  • Chris Daly on 01.30.2013 at 11:41 am

    Two thoughts:
    1. This story should have been accompanied by a map.
    2. I lived on that block for years. We raised our kids there. This was always an ultra-safe neighborhood. Nothing fundamental has changed in the area, except this apparent recent upsurge in street crime. This should yield to a little tougher policing by Brookline PD. Walk smart, stay safe.

    • Hiya on 01.30.2013 at 4:27 pm

      Dear “journalismprofessor,” there is a map. Might try reading.

  • alum on 01.30.2013 at 12:34 pm

    Wanna know what’s missing from that photo? A STREETLIGHT on that intersection. The only streetlight I see is way, way in the distance. Come on, Brookline. Lit streets are safer streets…

  • Voice of reason on 01.30.2013 at 12:43 pm

    I’d like to reasonably point out among these arguments that it is Boston University itself that has chosen time after time to use our tuition money and donations to expand its campus making it bigger and busier. Since they have chosen to increase the size of the university then I honestly believe they should have thought, or should start thinking, about a way to secure their newly expanded areas/campus. I am not entitled to protection, for I earn my tuition money paycheck to paycheck, but I do believe that there needs to be more vigilance from BU and BPD police as well as more effective ways of telling or forcing students to be vigilant and not use iphones or devices that will make them targets and impair their senses while on the streets. Maybe even add some emergency boxes with buttons to press which will not cost much and can be put in slow/quiet/dangerous streets.

  • BU grad on 01.30.2013 at 1:05 pm

    A few points

    1. It’s always a commonsense not to walk around any street dark at night in any city (NYC, Boston, etc) with your electronic device. If you want to show them off, do that to your friends and companions, not the strangers on the street.
    2. Installing security camera on the street around the city is a huge and costly project. Many may have compare and refer to the successful case in Manhattan, however, that came with a price. Just compare the tax rate between NYC and Boston – NYC’s city tax rate is close to 10% while Boston literally has no city tax on top of state and federal. I myself lived in Brooklyn for 8 years and am an NYU alum, and I often go home late at night after my experiments. Installing camera doesn’t guarantee you will catch the bad guys, instead, there may give rise to a huge issue of privacy.
    3. Instead, I believed what should be done is to rearrange the light pole to eliminate the shadows on the street – you can’t see what’s in the dark when you are in the light even if you increase the number of light poles. This should be easy to do.

  • Simple Thought on 01.30.2013 at 2:33 pm

    Just be aware of where you are walking.

    Take your headphones out when walking at night. You can listen to your favorite song when you’re in the comfort and safety of your own home.

    Try to walk with at least another person.

    Don’t be on your phone.

    You live in a city where crime is bound to happen. The police will try to do their best, so we should try to do our best before we rail on the BUPD/Brookline PD.

  • Student #2 on 01.30.2013 at 3:11 pm

    1. If you don’t go to BU you shouldn’t even be on this page
    2. Unless you’re an alumni that’s giving tons of money (probably even still) you’re opinion also doesn’t matter.

    None of you people go here; obviously you’re not going to care and just think students these days are dumb and they deserve it and blah blah blah.

    Also, sense of entitlement? I don’t think wanting to be safe is a sense of entitlement. And even if it is, if you actually think every life is considered equally important you’re wrong. In a perfect world, sure that’s what it would be, but in reality, no. Some lives are just more important than others.

    BU doesn’t have jurisdiction in some of these areas but it’s really not that hard to force Brookline PD to help out. “This is a city, blah blah,” Brookline isn’t Harlem, it isn’t Dorchester, there shouldn’t be all of these robberies and assaults.

    And most of the students here aren’t complaining about BU breaking up parties because they’re sad they won’t be able to drink illegally, they’re annoyed because it’s a waste of resources and money to break up a stupid party instead of patrolling the areas at night.

    I’m not completely railing on the police, students do need to be more aware of where they are and who’s around. They shouldn’t have all of their electronics out. They should be in groups. And no one should be out at like 3 am, but it’s just sad that BU always gets all of this bad publicity and now students are more afraid.

  • Eli on 01.30.2013 at 3:14 pm

    As a parent, I am astounded as to some of the selfish comments that are being made regarding security. Boston University Police and Boston Police Department need to enhance security. Students need to feel safe whether they live on or off campus. Students apartments are getting robbhed, they are getting killed!! When will this stop!! Will it stop when the son/daugther of an administrative officer gets hurt? Its that when BU will take a stand??? Tuition is very high at BU and they cannot even afford to get decent security for their students? Instead of Police officers patrolling the posth areas they should also concentrate on BU campus.

    • Sigh on 01.30.2013 at 3:40 pm

      As a current student, your post as a parent painfully illustrates why a great number of my fellow students act like entitled infants.

      • yafee on 01.30.2013 at 3:59 pm

        AMEN Sigh. I am the parent of a BU senior. My tuition dollars do not buy police officers to follow my child around.

        • Rui on 01.30.2013 at 6:09 pm

          Shouldn’t we be entitled not to get stabbed at 8:30 at night?

          • Dan on 01.30.2013 at 8:24 pm

            I don’t know, go ask the criminals what they think about that Rui…

      • Realistic Student on 01.30.2013 at 5:13 pm

        Very well said, Sigh.

        Eli- what else do you want them to do right now? They have police cars parked all throughout campus every day. It’s not BUPD’s responsibility to monitor streets off campus. I agree that the increase in crime this year has been ridiculous, but don’t go saying that BU isn’t doing anything. It sucks that this is happening, but there are things your kid can do to help protect himself. Call the escort service, use the BU bus, get a cab if it’s needed. Maybe you shouldn’t have sent your kid to a city school if you wanted them to be in a place with absolutely no crime. You just sound ignorant.

      • Dan on 01.30.2013 at 5:57 pm

        I completely agree “Sigh.”
        And you think OTHER people are making selfish comments in regards to security, “Eli?” Maybe you should send your child to a quiet college out in the middle of nowhere with a security guard at the front gate. By going to school in/near a city, you should understand the very small risk of being the target of a crime. You make it sound like there is a war going on or something. This is normal in a city.
        And, as I stated above, police can’t stop every crime from happening. They don’t magically appear seconds after you call 911 and stop the robbery. It takes them time to respond, which is why their main task as police officers is to do an investigation and solve the crime (which is pretty hard when all you have is a vague description of two robbers). They do patrol the area, they just can’t be everywhere at once. Criminals are also aware of this basic fact and commit the crime after the cop drives by. I don’t think your comment warrants anymore of my time…

    • George on 01.30.2013 at 5:19 pm

      I’ve heard of lots of other really good schools with high tuition that aren’t in a city. There’s probably less urban crime there. Have fun finding the same opportunities that a city like Boston has to offer though.

    • Student on 01.30.2013 at 7:05 pm

      Eli, I absolutely agree with you and I don’t believe people are getting what you are really trying to say here. Yes, it is a city and yes crime happens in every city but, regardless, it is extremely uncomfortable knowing that your kid is constantly getting BU alerts about robberies and incidents around campus that occur that just seem far to similar to each other. We get that it’s a city, but it is also a college campus, what is BUPD doing to minimize all of these occurrences? What is some of my ridiculous amount of tuition money being used towards aside from busting house parties and noise complaints? Totally agree with you Eli!

  • Post your comment spectator on 01.30.2013 at 3:37 pm

    Brookline is making Dorchester look like Weston. W

  • Jeff Lambe on 01.30.2013 at 5:30 pm

    Its kind of ridiculous that BU does not allow student to carry mace. Boston has the strictest weapon laws in the country, but even the city let’s you carry mace as long as you pay $15 for a permit… but no, its better to just leave students at the mercy of people who will rob you then stab you anyways…

    • Another SMG Student on 01.30.2013 at 8:27 pm

      I agree 100%. My response to a previous comment:

      “I very much agree with the fact that students are unable to protect themselves. It is unfortunate that most colleges in the US have to be gun-free and even weapon-free zones. I don’t understand why there are still people out there who think this is a good idea. A sign saying “No Guns Allowed” isn’t going to stop criminals from bringing weapons into the building. It only stops the law abiding students and staff who are then left defenseless. As a BU student who has a license to carry and owns a handgun, I don’t see why I should be able to carry it to the mall and carry it to the movies yet I can’t bring it to class at SMG or to the GSU. In fact, I can (and have) walk down Comm Ave legally carrying my gun but if I step into a BU building then it is suddenly illegal because I am somehow not competent enough to bring it on school property. This means I must leave my gun at home and be unprotected going to and from class. As crazy as it may seem to anti-gun people, I think allowing weapons to be carried on campus by TRAINED, LAW-ABIDING students/staff who are capable of being mature and responsible should be considered. In fact, some state universities out west are already doing this. Check out Student for Concealed Carry.

  • Ron on 01.30.2013 at 11:20 pm

    It’s time for this university to give student safety the highest priority.

  • Parent on 01.31.2013 at 12:41 pm

    These incidences are unfortunate for such a beautiful campus. Yes, students should take precautions as advised by the BU Police time-to-time and be careful. But, if a student is hungry at midnight during study and wants to go to the City Co to pick something to eat, should a thought of someone lurking outside cross his/her mind. If it should, then we are essentially asking to eliminate an element of “BE YOU”. I hope such incidences are dealt swiftly so that the bad people realize that it is not going to work at or near BU campus.

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