Arrest Made in Weekend Robbery
Suspect pleads not guilty, second warrant issued
Evan Holmes, of Quincy, Mass., pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon to three counts of armed robbery in Brookline District Court, where he was held on $25,000 bail in connection with the robbery of a BU student and two companions just after midnight last Saturday. Brookline Police arrested the 29-year-old Wednesday night at his home and have issued a warrant for the arrest of his alleged accomplice, Tyler J. Mauritson, also of Quincy. Mauritson is described as a 27-year-old white male, 6’2”, about 195 pounds, with brown hair and eyes.
Holmes was told to stay away from the victims and will next appear in Brookline District Court for a pretrial hearing on February 14.
The robbery, one of three between Friday night and Saturday morning, took place at St. Paul and Freeman Streets. The suspects allegedly flashed a black pellet gun and stole bags containing iPhones, wallets, and keys.
Peter Fiedler (COM’77), vice president for administrative services, credits Brookline Police for their investigative work. “They showed tremendous effort and determination in catching the suspects,” Fiedler says.
Boston and BU Police are still investigating the two other robberies that occurred the same weekend. The first was at 11:30 p.m. Friday in the alley adjacent to Shaw’s supermarket. A male student was approached by two men—one described as a white male between 5’6” and 5’8”, wearing a dark North Face jacket, the other as a muscular Asian male—who punched the student in the stomach and took his cell phone.
The third robbery involved a female student sitting on the stairs outside 275 Babcock Street at 1:25 a.m. Saturday. The suspects are described as a black male and a black female, who allegedly pushed the student to the ground, stole her cell phone and some money, and fled in an older model sedan.
The robberies under investigation are unrelated, according to BUPD Chief Thomas Robbins. “These are crimes of opportunity,” he says. “People see a quick buck, grab the nice cell phone, and sell it quickly.”
Boston, Brookline, and Boston University Police added additional patrols to the area. Fiedler says the University also plans to educate students about available safety procedures—such as texting or dialing BUPD’s emergency lines and using the University’s blue phones stationed around campus, which directly summon BUPD police—should they find themselves in a similar situation.
Robbins says students should be aware of their surroundings, walk with friends at night, program BUPD’s number into their cell phones, and use the blue phones if they see something suspicious or feel threatened. He also denies that stepped-up party patrols along West Campus last week encouraged the robberies. On the contrary, he says, additional patrols “provide that community with extra protection and visibility. If we see bad behavior, in this case cell phone snatching, we can prevent, deter, or respond to it immediately.”
Connor Mathews (ENG’14) doesn’t think there’s much more the BUPD can do. Still, he has friends who live off Freeman Street and “they tell me they don’t feel safe walking home either,” he says. “Whenever I walk to or from their place at night, I look over my shoulder a little more than I used to.”
“I walk home in that area a lot, and I don’t see police patrolling,” says Alixandra Loparo (COM’13), who tucks her cell phone and headphones away more often when walking alone. “I understand I live off campus, but there are so many kids living off campus that they should be patrolling in this area.”
Phoebe Bowe (COM’16) says she still feels safe. “You have to expect certain things living on a campus in a city,” she says. “BUPD is doing the best job they can do. It’s unfortunate, but people just need to be safe and aware of what they’re doing.”
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.
Paul Ryan (COM’13) contributed to this story.