NU Police advising students to be on the watch after three crime alerts

Grace Johnson

University Police are reevaluating patrol patterns and warning students to be on the watch after issuing three crime alerts during the first two weeks of Winter Quarter.

The third crime alert occurred over the weekend after a female Northwestern student woke early Saturday morning to find a man watching her in her apartment on the 2100 block of Maple Avenue, police said. The man did not say anything and left the apartment immediately. Police currently have no suspects.

Earlier this month, in an unrelated incident, a man attacked a student on the Evanston campus on the 2200 block of Orrington Avenue around 7 p.m., police said.

Police have already made some changes in response to the early evening hour and close proximity to campus of that Jan. 6 attack, UP Deputy Police Chief Dan McAleer said.

“There have been changes as far as patrol patterns around that area,” he said. “We’re trying to add resources to the Chicago campus as well, and now we are going on a week and there hasn’t been a similar incident in Evanston, so there’s no pattern at the moment.”

Meanwhile, a strong arm robbery reported on the Chicago campus on Jan. 5 was the third incident of iPad or iPhone robberies in the area in the last six weeks, McAleer said.

Although all of those incidents took place on NU’s Chicago campus, electronic devices are sought out by criminals anytime, anywhere, McAleer said.

“It doesn’t really matter if we’re talking about an iPad, iPhone, or a GPS device in a car – anything that would bring a criminal money by reselling it will be something they’re looking for,” he said.

In the most recent incident, the victim of the robbery was walking in the Chicago campus area with his iPad in hand, police said.

Communication junior Annie Munch said she doesn’t see any reason to start getting anxious about the string of electronic theft incidents until they start happening in Evanston.

“I don’t usually walk around with my iPhone out,” she said. “I keep it in my pocket, and I don’t text while I’m walking.”

UP officers are advising students to be cautious. No matter what time of day it is or where students may be walking, they should always be aware of their surroundings, McAleer said.

“It may not always be the best idea to have headphones in your ears as you’re walking on the street or to be talking on the phone,” he said. “You need to pay attention, and when you see something that doesn’t look right, trust your instincts, because your instincts are usually right.”

[email protected]