(March 28, 2016) Two security memos were sent out to Washington University students living in the University City area regarding a robbery and a carjacking, which occurred on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
These are the second and third reports of crime sent to students in the past week, in addition to a carjacking that took place on March 18.
All three crimes were conducted with the threat of a weapon, with assailants displaying or informing the victims of a gun. The March 25 carjacking assailant was arrested shortly after the crime was reported to local police.
The first carjacking incident was perpetrated by two males, described as being 16-22 years of age and both wearing black hoodies, one with gold “MIZZOU” lettering and wearing jeans, and the other with dark sweatpants. As the driver exited his vehicle, he was approached by one of the assailants, who displayed a gun and demanded the car keys. The driver complied, and both assailants entered the car, last seen driving east on Delmar Boulevard.
In the robbery incident, a man approached a woman from behind when she was walking along Melville Avenue and demanded her wallet, informing her of a gun in his possession. She gave him some money, but he then asked for her phone, which she refused to give him. Two uninvolved individuals were walking past, and she joined them. The assailant was seen walking north on Melville Avenue. Police currently have a person of interest in custody.
The notices sent out to students have made use of different language to denote what the Washington University Police Department have deemed the risk level of certain crimes. Information about the first carjacking, where the assailants were not located, was sent out to students as a “Crime Alert,” while the robbery and second carjacking were considered to be “Security Memos” when sent out to the Washington University community.
The police department described the difference in different notifications sent out to students in the recent emails.
“Crime Alerts will warn you of criminal activity that is believed to present a serious or continuing threat to students and employees. Security Memos are to inform you of criminal activity that has occurred but does not present a serious or continuing threat, so you can take extra precaution more generally,” the description read.
Lieutenant Mark Glenn, acting police chief of WUPD, noted that there will be increased patrols to include the area of the Lofts, increased coverage of the walkway from the Loop to the Overpass and increased man power by reassigning some administrative positions to patrols for the time being.
“We employ hotspot policing techniques, when we see areas that we believe could use extra attention we’ll redirect our focus,” Glenn said. “If something does happen, we’ll be in a position to immediately take action but it also is a deterrent. We practice preventative policing at the University police department, so providing extra patrols, being a presence, being available, if we see someone that’s walking to offer an escort right then and there, things like that.”
Resource: Student Life – The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis