University Police responded to twice as many robberies within their jurisdiction during the month of May as they did in April, although the frequency of most other crimes remained fairly steady, according to an informal Daily Pennsylvanian tally. "There's no sort of pattern here," Det. Commander Tom King said of the increase. "It was just overly quiet in April." King called the collective robberies during May "sporadic and disjointed," and emphasized that most of them occurred at the outer reaches of University Police jurisdiction, which spans the area from the Schuylkill River to 43rd Street between Market Street and Baltimore Avenue. Six robberies were reported during the month of April, whereas University Police responded to 12 within their regular patrol area in May -- and another five outside their patrol area. King said the increased "availability" of officers to respond to situations when fewer students are on campus frees them up to assist Philadelphia Police officers during the summer months. He also added that most of the victims of robberies in May were unaffiliated with the University. Additionally, crimes sometimes get logged as robberies and then reduced to thefts, purse snatches or flim-flams, King said. During a robbery, a perpetrator must by definition use or suggest force and threaten the victim in order to commit a theft. It is a serious crime -- a felony that can bring a criminal more than ten years in prison if convicted. Of all types of crime that occur on and around campus, robbery is the most frequent. King stressed that the University Police has seen robbery within jurisdiction drop dramatically since last year. "Even with the May figures, robbery is still down 38 or 39 percent since last year," he said. In one recent incident the evening of May 26, a female University student was approached by a man from behind outside her apartment on the 4000 block of Walnut Street. At about 5:45 p.m., he grabbed her, simulating a weapon under his jacket, and she surrendered an undetermined amount of cash. Police have not yet arrested a suspect in the incident. In another occurrence on May 14, the Rite Aid Pharmacy on the 4200 block of Walnut Street was robbed at 7:51 p.m. by an unknown suspect who also simulated a weapon. No further information was immediately available on the robbery. University Police also responded to three robberies well outside the boundaries of their jurisdiction during the month of May; one at gunpoint at 46th and Chestnut streets the night of May 17, a strong arm robbery carried out by two suspects minutes later at 46th and Market streets and a strong arm at 48th Street and Osage Avenue last Monday, June 1.Comments powered by Disqus
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