Robberies continue on, off campus

Elizabeth Campbell

Two dorm intrusions early Friday morning and the fifth attack on a student of the quarter Saturday are raising security concerns both on and off campus.

A man entered Allison Hall at about 3:30 a.m. Friday, using a key fob, an electronic key issued only to students, said Al Cubbage, vice president of university relations.

University Police were contacted by several students, but the man left before police arrived, according to an e-mail sent to undergraduates Friday afternoon.

A second intrusion occurred at about 5 a.m. in the Public Affairs Residential College, according to the e-mail.

A Communication freshman woke to find a man on her bed leaning over her in her first-floor room, said the student, who asked that she and her roommate not be named.

“I screamed the moment I was conscious and he jumped off,” she said.

The man ran to the side of the room and her roommate woke up, the student said. The man then fled the building.

At first, the student assumed the man was someone from the dorm, she said.

But then the roommates realized that two laptop computers, two iPods, a digital camera, a suitcase and about $155 in cash had been stolen, she said.

The third robbery in the last week occurred Saturday night when a Medill junior was attacked near the intersection of Noyes Street and Maple Avenue, three blocks from campus, according to an alert posted on NU’s Web site.

Nitesh Srivastava, a Daily staff reporter, was walking westbound on Noyes Street when two men came up behind him.

“I felt someone grab my backpack from behind, and these two guys grabbed my arms,” Srivastava said.

His attackers dug into his pockets and took his cell phone and wallet, he said.

They took $38 out of his wallet and gave the wallet back, Srivastava said. They didn’t take his identification or El cards or any of the debit or credit cards in the wallet, he said. His attackers did not show any weapons.

The men told him to keep walking, Srivastava said. They turned south on Maple Avenue, still holding onto his arms.

Srivastava said he saw a man in a parking lot about 30 feet away. He made an effort to break free and the men let him go.

The man in the parking lot, an NU student, gave Srivastava his cell phone to call police.

“The police showed up really quickly,” Srivastava said. “I can’t really blame them for not being on the exact corner where I was.”

University and Evanston police could not be reached for comment Sunday on any of the three incidents.

University Police have been on patrol in the areas where incidents have taken, Cubbage said.

“The problem is that we’ve had several incidents that are in different areas,” Cubbage said.

Administrators from residential life, student affairs, facilities management, UP and others met Friday to discuss the incidents and student security, Cubbage said.

More marked University Police patrol cars, private security cars and officers on foot are part of the ongoing increase in security measures, Cubbage said.

Facilities management trucks will be out in a more visible way to create another “clear institutional presence” on campus, Cubbage said.

Starting this week, private security officers will be patrolling in and around the lobbies of all residence halls, Cubbage said.

The NU administration is concerned and is trying to react appropriately to the recent incidents, Cubbage said.

“Unfortunately, it’s becoming more usual,” Cubbage said.

Last week two students were attacked on campus. A McCormick senior was robbed near Bobb Hall at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and a Weinberg sophomore was robbed on the east side of Sheridan Road Wednesday night. A man and two juveniles were arrested in connection with Wednesday’s incident.

On April 14, a student was the victim of an attempted robbery on the 1500 block of Oak Avenue. Less than a day later, three students were attacked by a group of men near the Metra station on Davis Street. One of the students was taken to hospital and treated for facial injuries.

Reach Elizabeth Campbell at [email protected]