Three Robberies, One Armed
Concern grows, along with caution
Police from Brookline, Boston, and Boston University are investigating three separate incidents in which BU students were robbed, one late Friday night and two early Saturday morning, on or near the Charles River Campus. A female BU student and two companions were robbed at gunpoint at about 12:15 a.m. Saturday at St. Paul and Thatcher Streets in Brookline. Boston University Police Captain Robert Molloy says the suspects, who took a tote bag containing an iPhone and keys, are two white males. One is about 6′ 2″, with a large nose, and was wearing a white hoodie and a black jacket. He displayed a black handgun. The second suspect is between 5′ 10″ and 6′, with a thick build, and was wearing a black jacket with a scarf over his face. The victim was not injured. BU Police sent a text message about the incident to the BU community at 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
Another BU student was robbed of his cell phone in an unarmed incident in the alley adjacent to Shaw’s supermarket at 11:30 Friday night. Molloy says the student was approached by two men, one a white male between 5’ 6” and 5’ 8”, wearing a dark North Face jacket. The second suspect, described as a muscular Asian, allegedly assaulted the student before taking his cell phone. The student was punched, but refused medical treatment.
In a third robbery, a female student sitting on the stairs outside 275 Babcock Street at 1:25 a.m. Saturday was approached by a black male and a black female. Molloy says the man allegedly pushed the student to the ground, opened her purse, and took a cell phone and some money. Both suspects left the scene in a older model sedan.
Molloy says police believe the three robberies are unrelated. Both the BUPD and the Brookline Police are adding additional patrols to the area, he says.
Despite the increased patrols, many students are uneasy. Hannah Klarner (CAS’13, COM’13) says she has become more cautious when she goes out at night. “Boston is a city, and so of course it has crime, but I’ve never felt unsafe on or around BU before,” Klarner says. “I’ve definitely changed my habits too. I take the bus or cabs instead of walking, and my friends refuse to let me walk home anymore.”
Alexis Peters (CAS’13) says that last fall’s robberies made her more aware of her surroundings when she walked alone at night. But now, she says, “I actually feel unsafe walking around my neighborhood even with people. It just seems like everything’s happening a lot more frequently and more severely.”
Allston resident David Mayberg (CGS’13) says that residents in his neighborhood always use caution because the area “has been known as an unsafe neighborhood for many years.” However, since BUPD “doubled the amount of cops” in the Allston area in an effort to monitor parties and curb underage drinking this past weekend, he wonders if it left the rest of campus “not so safe.”
That was a concern echoed by Poorva Bhade (CAS’13). “I think kids are just tired and they really want to feel safe,” says Bhade. “Although we are in a city, this shouldn’t be happening to such a huge college campus. BU Police mixed with BPD mixed with Brookline PD should be taking care of this.”
Molloy 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 story reported that one robbery victim suffered minor injuries. That student was punched, but refused medical treatment.