January 6, 2012

Two students robbed at gunpoint Thursday morning

Two University students were robbed at gunpoint early yesterday morning near 57th Street and Ellis Avenue as they were returning from a visit to the University of Chicago Medical Center.

At 4:35 a.m., the two male students were approached by two men, one armed with a handgun. The muggers took wallets, backpacks, a computer, and an iPhone, and then fled east in a silver car. The victims were not injured.

The University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) released a security alert Thursday notifying students of the robbery four hours later.

UCPD will review surveillance camera footage for possible leads, according to UCPD spokesperson Robert Mason.

Though UCPD always urges students to use Safe Ride and umbrella service, Safe Ride does not operate after 4 a.m. from Sundays to Wednesdays. However, umbrella coverage runs 24 hours every day.

“One thing that would help is if Safe Ride expanded, given that there are University buildings open 24 hours and students coming home from them for 24 hours,” fourth-year Emma Moore, a friend of one of the victims who lives on East 53rd Street, said.

The University’s neon–clad security officers do not stand guard after 2 a.m., although a UCPD officer patrols until 7 a.m.

“I don’t feel uncomfortable, but the events that happen are a little disconcerting. It’s more disturbing when things occur, like last quarter, on the main quad, on 57th, in well–traveled and commercial areas. You should be able to walk across your own campus and feel safe,” first-year South Campus resident Alex Opechowski said.

The victims were walking on a sidewalk that is currently under construction. The Chicago Police Department will investigate the incident with UCPD assistance.

—Additional reporting by Rebecca Guterman