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Three armed robberies reported near campus in less than a week

The Ohio State Police Department issued its third Timely Warning to the OSU community in less than a week Saturday following an armed robbery in the university area.

According to the warning, a female OSU student reported that she was robbed at gun point by two African-American males between the ages of 25-28. The incident occurred at 5:15 a.m. Saturday on Norwich Avenue in the alley between Waldeck Avenue and Tuller Street.

The suspects fled after the victim screamed, according to the warning.

The warning was the third such notification released by OSU police this week.

Following an armed robbery in the university area early Thursday morning, the Ohio State Police Department issued a Timely Warning to the OSU community Thursday afternoon.

According to the warning, a male victim was robbed at gun point by four males described as African-Americans approximately 20 to 21 years of age early Thursday morning. The incident occurred at the intersection of East 17th Avenue and Pearl Street.

On Monday, a similar notification was issued to the OSU community for another armed robbery. This incident involved three African-American males, and it occurred at the intersection of Worthington Street and West 10th Avenue.

Despite the three Timely Warnings issued from the University Police for armed robbery in the campus-area in the last week, one police official said he has not seen an increased level of crime on campus.

OSU Police Chief Paul Denton told The Lantern Thursday that he has “not seen a spike in crime on campus.”

Denton also explained how and when a Timely Warning is issued to OSU affiliates.

“We prepare a Timely Warning if a crime represents an ongoing danger to the safety of students, faculty and staff,” Denton said. “If it’s on campus, we’ll prepare one.”

Denton added that if the crime is off-campus, but in the university area, issuing a Timely Warning is on a case-by-case basis.

“When the crime is off-campus, it is our discretion, we are not obligated to issue a Timely Warning,” Denton said. “We often do issue them as a matter of interest to our community.”

Some students think the crime in the university area is a big issue.

Andrea Marlett, a third-year in strategic communication, said the security should be increased.

“I think it’s pretty frightening to actually know that that’s happened a couple times in the week,” Marlett said. “It’s pretty scary that the security’s not tight enough.”

Denton offered advice to students and community members to avoid crime.

“Be attentive to warnings,” Denton said. “If you see something, call in suspicious activity and be aware of your surroundings.”

Denton also added that people should not travel alone and to not wear headphones while walking at night. Denton said wearing headphones decreases awareness of surroundings.

Drew Rankin, a third-year in human nutrition, said the recent armed robberies on campus will make him more aware of campus security.

“It makes you a little bit more aware. It makes you rethink the whole buddy system,” Rankin said. “If you have friends that have night classes, you might want to help them out, and maybe pick them up from class or just check in with them, make sure they’re all right.”

Joe Sadek, a fourth-year in international studies, said common sense can help you avoid these situations.

“If you’re flashing around an iPad in the middle of the night on 4th Avenue, you’re obviously going to get stopped,” Sadek said.

Denton added that when there is suspicious activity or if someone finds themselves in a threatening situation, they should call the police.

“Columbus Police, Ohio State Police … we are there to help people,” Denton said.

Dan Hope contributed to this story.

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