University News

Campus afflicted by summer crime

Students faced armed robberies and theft on campus throughout the summer months

By
Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Four armed robberies took place on campus this summer, leaving one student injured, according to Department of Public Safety crime alerts.

Two students were robbed together by a male with dark skin armed with a knife on Waterman Street around 11 p.m. on June 24. One student was robbed at gunpoint by a male on Cushing Street around 9:30 p.m. on July 1, and another was robbed at gunpoint the same evening around 11:15 p.m. by two men near the intersection of Brown and Lloyd streets. The July 1 incidents do not appear to be related, said Deputy Chief of Police Paul Shanley. A fourth student was robbed and assaulted with a knife by three male assailants at the intersection of Power and Brown streets at approximately 2:00 a.m. on Aug. 16, according to the alerts. In all cases, the students were robbed of money and personal belongings. DPS is working with the Providence Police Department to coordinate the investigation of these cases, Shanley said.

Of the four armed robbery victims, only the Aug. 16 victim was physically assaulted, according to the alerts.

“We haven’t seen that level of violence associated with a robbery in a while,” Shanley said.

Texting and talking on the phone while walking at night can make people more vulnerable to attack, he said, adding that the Brown University Shuttle and SafeWalk are valuable resources. If confronted by a robber, the safest thing to do is comply and give him or her your personal belongings, he said. “Those items can be replaced — but you can’t be.”

There were three reported instances of bike theft this summer, all involving bikes secured with cable locks, according to DPS incident summaries. Cable locks are “a great deterrent” to theft, Shanley said, but they can be broken using bolt cutters.

Residence halls also saw theft. Bins were stolen from a common area in Sears House between May 27 and June 10, and a laptop and charger were stolen from a summer student’s unlocked Diman House room on July 5, according to incident reports. A parking permit was also stolen from inside an unlocked vehicle in Lot 80 at 110 Elm Street July 3.

The Facilities and Operations manager for Athletics reported on July 16 that numerous pull boxes and wires in Brown Stadium had been “tampered with,” according to an incident summary report. DPS detectives are investigating the case.

DPS will increase its presence on campus “to hopefully help the community feel safer and get the freshman class acclimated” as the semester begins, Shanley said. DPS has hired more contract security guards this fall to serve as “additional eyes and ears.”