On the Beat

Sergeant Jeffrey Daberko and Officer Mark

Last week we talked a little bit about theft, especially of unattended items, which is probably the most common criminal occurrence here at CWRU. Not nearly as common (fortunately), but far more serious is robbery (defined as using force or the threat of force to take property from someone), and recently we have had a few robbery incidents on or near the campus. So now would seem like a good time to go over some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim, and what to do if you should find yourself in a bad situation.

Robbery can occur at any time of day but is still statistically most likely to happen to people who are by themselves at night. When moving around the area late at night use university provided services like the shuttle bases, Safe Ride (saferide@case.edu, or 216-368-3000 for the automated dispatch system), or just walking in groups.

Be aware of your surroundings and what is going on around you. Several of our recent robberies have been of the “cell phone snatch” variety where a suspect, either on foot or bike, comes up behind someone and snatches the cell phone out of their hand in mid conversation and takes off.

Try and keep one eye on your surroundings even when on a phone. Trust your instincts-if an alley looks dark & dangerous don’t go in, if an approaching person is making you nervous cross the street. No law says you have to continue on blindly and see what is going to happen.

If you are robbed, give the robber what they ask for, possessions can always be replaced. As soon as you are able to get away call the police as soon as possible-call 368-3333 for CWRU police or 911 for Cleveland or other city police departments depending on where you are when an incident occurs. If calling from a cell phone you may have to help the dispatcher by giving your location-use street names/intersections if you know them, or nearby landmarks or buildings.

When you call give as detailed a description of the suspect(s) as possible, to include clothing as well as your location and the direction of travel taken by the suspect(s). If you are blanking out on how to describe someone, use your own height and weight as a reference point and go from there. Try and stay calm when speaking to the dispatcher so you are clearly understood so the help you need can be sent.

The police can never be everywhere. As a campus community we need to look out for one another and if you think you see someone else in trouble, call the police and give the same information as above.

On the Beat is a weekly safety column written by Sergeant Jeffrey Daberko & Officer Mark (The Crossing Guard) Chavis of CWRU PD. Send feedback to this or other columns at policecolumn@case.edu.