A third armed robbery in a week in the Ohio State campus area prompted the OSU Police Department to send out another Timely Warning to the community Saturday afternoon.
A female OSU student was walking in the alley on Norwich Avenue between Waldeck Avenue and Tuller Street at 5:15 a.m. Saturday morning when two black men approached her, one with a black handgun, according to the warning.
The suspects demanded her money at which point the victim started screaming and the suspects ran from the scene.
Another Timely Warning was sent out on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011, following an armed robbery at the intersection of East 17th Avenue and Pearl Street. Four black men approached the male victim and demanded his property. He complied then was told to run away from the scene, according to the warning.
The first Timely Warning of the week was sent on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011. Three black males robbed a male victim near West 10th Avenue and Worthington Street. One of the suspects held a gun to the victim’s head while the other two removed his property before fleeing the scene, according to the warning.
There have been four Timely Warnings issued so far this school year, three of which were sent last week.
OSU police chief, Paul Denton, explained the reason for sending out Timely Warnings.
“OSU police issue Timely Warning-Crime alerts primarily for crimes which occur on-campus and for off-campus crimes when we become aware of them such as this recent case,” Denton said in an email.
Nick Messenger, president of the Undergraduate Student Government and a third-year in economics, said he is aware of the increasing trend in crimes and wants students to know that USG is working to help reduce them.
Messenger and USG are working to expend the mutual aid agreement, which is an agreement between OSU and Columbus police departments. The project, Joint Jurisdiction, aims to involve OSU police more in the off-campus neighborhoods where many upperclassmen live.
“This could allow OSU police to patrol the off-campus area and we could increase the police presence in the off-campus area and make arrests,” Messenger said.
USG also offers window alarms and free rides through its Student Safety Services program. OSU police provide free self-defense classes for women following the Rape Aggression Defense program curriculum, which is hands-on training.
Jacob Maynard, a second-year in molecular genetics, knows that ultimately, it’s up to students to be aware of their surroundings and be proactive in their own safety.
“I usually don’t walk by myself in areas like that (off-campus) really late at night. If I do, I usually have some sort of protection like a knife or something on me,” Maynard said.
Randi Shears, a student in international studies, said she was aware of the risks of not properly protecting herself when she came here.
“I’m not afraid of any of that … I know it happens. I knew the risk when I came here,” Shears said.
Messenger said USG has teamed up with OSU Police for student safety.
“Safety is one of the things that we try to cover on as many fronts as possible,” Messenger said.
Dan Hope contributed to this story.