Campus police have yet to identify any suspects in the continuing investigation of a series of strong-arm robberies that have recently occurred on and near campus.
A campus crime alert, issued on Feb. 19 by campus police, addressed the issue of the robberies that have occurred within the past two weeks. No suspects have been arrested or identified.
Campus police are considering the possibility that these crimes may be linked, but there is no direct evidence to prove that at this point.
Campus police said the latest of the attacks occurred on Feb. 18 between 9:35 p.m. and 9:55 p.m. when a student was walking on Etiwanda Avenue toward Kinzie Street and was suddenly approached by the suspect.
After demanding the victim’s personal property, the suspect forcibly took the belongings of the victim and fled to a nearby vehicle that was described as an off-white, new model Chrysler 300.
The victim was not able to get a distinct look at the suspect or the driver of the vehicle to make proper identification. The victim was able to describe the suspect who assaulted him as a black or Hispanic male, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.
The suspects were seen leaving the crime scene headed westbound on Kinzie Street from Etiwanda Avenue. The victim did not sustain any injury during the incident.
“We are aggressively investigating this,” said Detective Mark Benavidez. “It’s not only our obligation as a police department but it’s our duty to keep the campus safe and maintain that safe learning environment.”
Benavidez said there is no hard evidence to prove the fact that the off-white, new model Chrysler 300 is the same vehicle involved in the strong-arm robbery incident that occurred on Feb. 11, despite the striking similarity in description.
“We are at this point speculating that it may be the same vehicle, but we don’t have any direct evidence to prove that as of yet,” said Benavidez.
At this time, police are doing their best to advise students to be more cautious in their everyday activity and routine.
“Regardless of where we are in the semester or the activity going on campus, students should always be aware,” said special assistant to the chief of police Christina Villalobos. “Anything that could happen in the surrounding community could happen on campus.”
Villalobos said it is important for students to be aware of what is going on because of the fact that students may become unfortunate victims of such an occurrence.
Benavidez also said that it is important for students to be a good witness and to get as much information as possible if they happen to witness something like a robbery or a theft.
“They can remain anonymous, but if somebody has a plate number to a vehicle to the description of what we are looking for it would be extremely helpful,” said Benavidez. “I would have no problem with their remaining anonymous just as long as they were able to make themselves available to provide that information.”
The police understand the fact that most students might have an innate fear of criminal reprisal but what campus police want students to understand is that sometimes a case might not be solved without the assistance of a witness.
“It’s really important for witnesses to know how crucial it is that they not only report things timely but to be as detailed as they can,” said Villalobos. “And if they have any reservations about their identity then there is another means to report that info, rather than not do it at all.”