Following a sudden increase in crime on and near campus, the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) is upping its security presence.
Last Sunday, a security alert was e-mailed to students and faculty about an armed robbery between East 56th Street and East 57th Street on South University Avenue. Two students were walking at 5:25 a.m. when two unknown males, one of whom was armed with a handgun, took their wallets and an iPhone. The suspects then got into a waiting vehicle and headed north on University Avenue. Neither of the victims reported injuries.
Three days later, an unknown male tried to take the backpack of a student walking west on East 57th Street between South Ellis Avenue and South Drexel Avenue at 2:05 a.m. But after seeing an approaching University shuttle, he ran to a waiting vehicle without the backpack. The student, whose hair was pulled during the incident, declined medical attention.
UCPD spokesperson Bob Mason noted the sudden uptick in these campus incidents.
“This is very unusual because we had two security alerts in the past week, which were both crimes on campus, and the last one before that was back in November,” he said.
Pierce residents also received a safety memo on April 1 about an armed robbery on East 55th Street and South University Avenue at 1:30 that morning. Two unknown males armed with a handgun struck a University student on the back of the head before taking his wallet, keys, and iPhone and fleeing north on University Avenue. The victim declined medical attention. Since the incident did not occur on campus, only residents of Pierce were notified because it happened across the street from the dorm.
According to the security alert for Wednesday’s incident, UCPD is boosting its security presence. Mason reaffirmed this but would not elaborate on the nature of the increased security.