A female reported to the Metropolitan Police Department that her laptop had been snatched out of her hands Friday night in the heart of the Foggy Bottom Campus, but no Crime Alert was sent out to the GW community about the incident.
According to an MPD alert sent out over a community listserv, the victim’s laptop was allegedly stolen in a building on the 2100 block of G Street. The suspect entered the area where the victim was sitting with “a confused look,” approached her and snatched the computer at about 10:35 p.m. The victim attempted to clutch her laptop, but she was overpowered by the suspect and let go. He ran out the door and into a white Infiniti G35 four-door vehicle, and the car was last seen heading north on 22nd Street.
A similar incident a few weeks ago – in which a female student had her laptop stolen from in front of her in the Gelman Starbucks – warranted a GW Crime Alert, but University officials said they did not send a Crime Alert to the community in this case because the University Police Department “did not have a good description of the assailant,” UPD Chief Kevin Hay said.
University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said that under the Clery Act – which requires GW to release information about crime statistics on campus – a Crime Alert is not warranted if an adequate description of the victim isn’t available.
MPD did have a clear description of the suspect, who was described in the MPD alert as a black male with black hair, a clean-shaven face and a dark complexion. He was wearing blue pants and a black jacket and shirt.
Hay said that Crime Alerts are issued based on information obtained by UPD from victims. In the case of Friday’s laptop robbery, UPD and MPD did not have the same information on the suspect’s description. Sherrard declined to comment on whether or not UPD and MPD had a discussion about the incident.
After a reported rape that occurred just off campus a few weeks ago, a University spokeswoman said UPD is seeking to better its communication with MPD, attempting to be in contact with MPD on a daily basis.