RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Commonwealth University Police are increasing patrols in the area after two possibly related robberies took place over the weekend.
Authorities say around 12:20 a.m. on June 29, Richmond Police received a report of a strong-armed robbery in the 300 block of North 10th Street.
Police say the male victim reported that five suspects approached him as he was walking in the 300 block of North 10th Street. The victim told authorities that the suspects assaulted him by taking his backpack containing an electronic tablet and other personal items. The suspects were last seen running north towards North 10th Street and East Leigh Street and the Martin Luther King Bridge.
Police described the five suspects as follows:
- Young black male wearing a red t-shirt; blue jeans; and white sneakers;
- Young black male wearing red t-shirt; blue jeans; and white sneakers;
- Young black male wearing white t-shirt; blue jeans; and white sneakers;
- Young male with no further description provided;
- Young male with no further description provided.
Police say that just prior to this robbery, a separate assault and larceny took place off campus in the 900 block of East Broad Street. Due to the time and location of this incident, VCU Police say they believe both offenses may have been committed by the same suspects.
No weapons were displayed and no serious injuries were sustained in either incident.
“It can be assumed that conditions continue to exist that may pose a threat to members and guests of the community,” the warning posted on VCU Alert’s website reads.
The VCU Police would like to remind students, in particular, to keep personal safety in mind. There are certain things you need to be aware of living in an urban environment. Crimes may occur in our community. The best defense is to be prepared and to take responsibility for your own safety and for that of your friends and fellow students. A few key reminders:
- If you find yourself in a similar situation, do not resist. Cooperate.
- In the event of an incident such as this, the information you provide police will help them identify the suspect(s). Focus on his or her physical characteristics, i.e. clothing description, height and weight, and last known direction of travel.
- Don’t make any sudden, unexpected moves.
- If the suspect claims to have a weapon, never try to force the bluff.
- Never try to apprehend the criminal yourself. Call the police immediately.
- When out walking, trust your instincts about a person or situation and choose safety over courtesy.
- If you need help, look for an Emergency Reporting Telephone. You automatically will be connected to the VCU Police Department.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Do not let a cell phone conversation or listening to music distract you when crossing the street or in another situation that calls for your full attention.
- Avoid isolated areas and walking alone at night. Consider use of RamSafe during the hours of 5pm-8am. Call 828-SAFE (7233) or email at http://www.ramsafe.vcu.edu
- Be very cautious if someone tries to stop or distract you; some tactics used are:
- “Do you have a cigarette?”; or
- “Can I use your phone?”
Anyone with information pertaining to this crime can contact the VCU Police Department at (804) 828-1234, VCU Detectives at 804-828-6409 or text VCUTIP to 274637 anonymously.