Chicago State Univ. issues robbery alert

April 14, 2009 9:51:49 AM PDT
Students at a Chicago campus are being warned about a string of recent robberies, most of them armed robberies.A campus-wide alert was issued at Chicago State University on Monday night. Two crimes were committed on campus; the other two took place nearby.

There have been four muggings on campus in the last three months. The last three took place since April 1. That has Chicago State University police issuing a campus-wide alert but apparently not every student has gotten the message.

ABC7 saw many young women walking alone on Monday night on the Chicago State University campus. Some were aware of the recent armed robberies. Others, like Lachelle Chegog, say they had no idea.

"I think about that a lot. Especially taking night classes, I always think about that walking to my car," said Lachelle Chegog, Chicago State junior.

The most recent mugging happened on Monday morning at 97th and Calumet, right across the street from campus. A young woman parked her car there. She was on her way to class when a man pointed a gun at the victim and told her to give him everything she had. He took her phone and her wallet but she didn't have any cash.

Last Thursday a similar attack as a young woman was parking her car just off campus and that time the victim was assaulted.

"When she tried to run, he then pushed her down," said Pat Arnold, Chicago State University Relations.

Arnold says there was another mugging in a parking lot on campus April 1 and one before that a couple of months ago, prompting police to issue this campus alert.

"We don't know whether to connect it to the economy or what, but, again, if you're stealing from students you can't really expect to get much," said Arnold.

Arnold says students can already call campus police for an escort to and from their cars. And on Wednesday a new program called Rave Guardian begins. Students will be able to register their cell phones online, turning them into panic buttons with a direct line to police.

Chicago State says it will be the first campus in Illinois to use the Rave Guardian system and that it might have made a difference in a couple of these cases.

So far police have only a vague description of the suspect and no one in custody.


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