Student robbed on campus

On Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at 6:50 p.m. a student called campus police, reporting being robbed of her cell phone near the Naquin Strength and Conditioning Center.

According to the press release, the victim described the culprit as “an African-American male in his mid to late teens, thin, about 5’ 8,” wearing blue jeans and a black hoodie with a white shirt underneath. She said one of the other two subjects was a young African-American male wearing a yellow shirt or jacket.”

“A student called us and said ‘someone just stole my cell phone,’ and we responded and spoke with the student,” said University Police Department Lieutenant Patrick Gipson. “She described that she was talking on her cell phone and walking by the Dugas Center and someone ran up behind her, grabbed the cell phone out of her hand and in the process of grabbing the cell phone, he also struck her. It’s unclear whether he intended to hit her and get the phone or if that was just a by-product of him grabbing the phone, but he is going to be charged with that also.”

The culprit will be charged for simple robbery, a robbery without a weapon and simple battering. Robbery is a felony while simple battering is considered a misdemeanor. 

According to Gipson, the victim, then, turned around and saw the suspect leave with a group of males that were standing nearby. 

“We were able to pull some surveillance video that showed which direction they ran,” said Gipson. “The student reported he met up with two people and then ran off. There were actually four or five people involved that she just couldn’t see from her perspective. They all ran off and around the corner.”

The campus police were able to identify a suspect through some investigation and a photo line-up. The suspect identified is not a student of the university.

“Through some investigation, we identified a possible suspect, one of the people involved,” said Gipson. “We were able to figure out that they were one of the people there. The victim identified him from a photo line-up.”

The police issued an arrest warrant, however, no further action has been taken up until now due to the officers trying to coordinate with local agencies in order to make the arrest. The coordination is necessary due to the suspect not living on campus. 

“We are going to get the assistance from local agencies,” said Gipson. “We have more than one address for him, where we think he may be staying, and we are going to get in touch with one of the local agencies that have jurisdiction in that area and see if they will pick him up for us.”

Even though these types of crimes are still regarded as something rare on campus, students should still be cautious. According to Gipson, during particular times of the year, such as holidays, certain crimes increase.

“Some types of crimes increase during this time of year, the holiday season,” said Gipson. “There is an increase in thefts and burglaries, but that’s a national thing, not just a local thing. Folks are taking things; some folks are out buying a lot of stuff and putting it in their cars, leaving it unattended. There are a lot of different reasons things like this happen. The best thing is to remain vigilant.”

Despite the time of the year and the incident on campus, Gipson believes the campus is still safe but cautions students to be careful.

“Our campus is safe,” said Gipson. “We don’t have a lot of crime on campus, but there is some. It is good to be careful.”