Last week we talked a little bit about theft; mainly of bicycles, unattended items and especially electronics, which is the most common criminal occurrence here at Case Western Reserve University. Fortunately not nearly as common but far more serious, is robbery. Robbery is defined as using force or the threat of force to take property from someone. The university has had incidents on or near the campus in the past, so here are some tips.
Robberies can occur at any time, but are statistically more likely at night to lone individuals. When moving around the area late at night, use university-provided services like the shuttle busses, Safe Ride, or just walking in groups and sticking to well-lit and more travelled routes. If something looks dark and dangerous, avoid it.
Also be aware of your surroundings and what is going on around you. Remember the old nature films where the lion would pick out the gazelle that had its head down. Additionally in the age of the cell phone, be aware that some 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.
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 at 368-3333 for CWRU PD, or 911 for local police. After making sure you are okay, the dispatcher will ask you for a description and direction of travel for the suspect(s). The sooner you call and the more accurate the information the better the odds of making an arrest. In one past incident, we were able to arrest a suspect at the bottom of Cedar Hill who had robbed a student at the top of Cedar Hill, so it does make a difference.
The police can never be everywhere. As a campus community, we need to look out for one another, so if you think you see someone else in trouble, call CWRU PD. Let’s look out for each other.
On the Beat is a weekly safety column written by Sergeant Jeffrey Daberko of CWRU PD. I welcome questions, suggestions and gripes/groans/moans/complaints about campus life at firstname.lastname@example.org.