Five students were robbed at gunpoint by two different assailants near campus in the last two weeks and police have made no arrests, University Police and Metropolitan Police officials said.
The two victims of an early Sunday robbery said responding UPD officers were unhelpful and disorganized. Both incidents are under investigation by Metropolitan and University Police, and no victims were harmed in either of the incidents.
The first robbery occurred April 5, a Friday, at 3:45 a.m. near the Health and Wellness Center on 23rd Street. One of the victims turned over $14, according to UPD.
UPD declined to identify any of the victims involved in the first robbery but said the three victims were robbed at 23rd and G streets at about 3:45 a.m. and that the assailant was a black male, approximately 25 years old and weighing about 165 pounds.
The second robbery was reported at 4 a.m. Sunday near City Hall on K Street between 24th and 25th streets, according to UPD.
Metropolitan Police Sgt. Jeff Parker was only able to confirm the second incident and said the two female victims must “have gotten a good look at the (suspect),” because they were able to describe him as a Hispanic male, older than 30 and weighing about 175 pounds. MPD identified the victims.
Parker said the assailant took the students’ purses and that the department is hoping to close the case soon. Stafford said the students reported a loss of two purses, a wallet, a camera valued at $150, some cash and a Palm Pilot. She added that UPD is investigating both incidents with MPD.
Sophomore Esie Anastasiadis, who was robbed Sunday with her friend, said the women first reported the attacks to MPD and then called UPD when they arrived in their on-campus rooms.
“We went to Metro Police first. We didn’t call UPD till around 4 a.m., but they were not helpful. They did not know how to answer any of our questions,” Anastasiadis said.
She said MPD had patrols searching for the suspect. UPD did not know how to answer questions, such as where the victims could get replacement GWorld cards for the weekend, she said.
Sophomore Julia Booth, the other victim of the Sunday morning robbery, said Metropolitan Police officers were “65 times more helpful” than UPD officers.
Booth said University Police did not let them know about any support services and have not updated them on the status of their case.
“They called at 6 a.m. after we were trying to deal with getting robbed and asked some very unimportant question; I forget what it was,” Booth said.
Anastasiadis said the entire incident was a “total surprise.”
“I never thought it would happen somewhere that close to campus. Now I will never walk alone or with only one other person at night,” she said. “I usually take 4-RIDE, but I was coming back from Georgetown, so I couldn’t take it.”