VCU police respond to recent rash of robberies

Fletcher Babb

News Editor

Campus robberies have spiked in June. In all, at least 5 robberies have occurred on both Monroe Park and MCV campuses.

On June 11, a woman and man reported a robbery by two unknown males at the corner of Kensington Avenue and Mulberry Street. Less than two weeks later, four robberies occurred between June 20-21. In three of those cases, an individual walking alone at night was approached by a lone male who showed a semi-automatic handgun, according to police reports. In two, the suspect fled the scene in an automobile.

VCU issued an e-mail alert several hours after the last robbery. In the alert, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration John Bennett wrote, “Police have taken steps to increase their presence in the area. In the meantime, VCU Police strongly caution everyone against walking late at night in poorly lit areas – whether by themselves or with others.”

VCU Police Chief John Venuti said “Robbery is a serial crime.” He added, “when you have a spike in crime, I assume the instances are related until I can separate them by investigation.”

Venuti said he has worked with Richmond Police and made changes to the distribution of officers on campus to “rapidly respond with all the resources we have.”

Venuti also outlined four tips for safety around campus:

  1. Use Student Escort Services
  2. Travel in well-lit areas, preferable in groups
  3. Establish where you’re going – pick the safer route, not the shorter one.
  4. Secure or otherwise hide valuables

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