Students robbed at gunpoint a block from campus

Scott Gordon

Two armed robberies occurred between Thursday night and Friday morning, one involving two Northwestern students just a block away from campus and another at an Evanston man’s home, police said.

Two female students were walking away from campus together on the 700 block of Foster Street at about 8:12 p.m. Thursday when they noticed a group of four men across the street, near the northwest corner of Foster and Orrington Avenue, said Cmdr. Michael Perry of Evanston Police Department.

The men then crossed the street and began walking behind the students. Two of the men grabbed and restrained the women; one had a gun in his hand, Perry said. The men demanded money from the victims, who said they had none. The men then went through the students’ bookbags, took a cell phone from one of them, and left the scene.

One of the victims, a 21-year-old who wished to remain anonymous, told THE DAILY that she and the other victim were walking to their apartments together — instead of alone — to stay safe.

“I just didn’t think that at that time of night it would be a risk,” said the victim, a Medill senior. She added that she has been taken safety precautions all quarter, avoiding walking alone at night.

The student said the two men who had grabbed her and her friend held them back while the other two went through their pockets and bags.

“They were holding us to make sure we didn’t turn around to look at them,” she said, adding that “Orrington is so dark, and Foster is pretty dark too.”

She said that at one point she tried to turn around and look at the men, one of whom then yanked her sweatshirt hood over her head.

The incident was over in about two minutes, she said. After the men left the scene, the victim and her friend tried to get some passing cars to stop for them but could not. She said cars also had been passing them during the robbery, but the drivers probably would not have been able to see what was happening. The victims eventually found another student who let them call police on a cell phone.

In another crime in the city, a 38-year-old Evanston man was robbed at his home early Friday morning, Perry said.

The victim told police that he was walking onto the enclosed porch in the rear of his home, on the 900 block of Reba Place, when he saw a man standing behind the door, Perry said. The man, who the victim said had a handgun — probably a revolver — demanded money. The victim turned over $30 from his wallet.

The assailant then told the victim to walk inside the house with him, at which point the victim said he went inside and heard the door close behind him, Perry said. The victim turned around and the man was gone.

The victim told EPD he might be able to identify the robber, Perry said.

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