A graduate student was punched and robbed in broad daylight on Melville Avenue Wednesday afternoon, according to the Washington University Police Department.
The student was walking on the street at 12:30 p.m. when the four men, described as black teenagers between 5-feet-6-inches and 5-feet-9-inches tall, asked him for money. When the student kept walking, the suspects hit him, stole his cellular phone along with some money and escaped to the north.
In response to the mugging, Washington University Police Department (WUPD) and University City Police Department (UCPD) have increased uniformed and undercover patrols in the area.
“We have dedicated additional resources there both yesterday—last evening—and again today, and we will for the near future,” WUPD Chief Don Strom said. “From our discussions with [UCPD] they clearly are doing the same thing. There is a coordinated effort.”
While several muggings have happened in the University City Loop area, this is the first in some time to occur during the day in an area crowded with students. Strom said, however, that despite the fact that the crime occurred in the open, WUPD’s advice to students in the area has not changed.
“The precautions we’re trying to put out there are not in response to a specific incident. They are responses that we want people to consider at all times,” Strom said. “Things are going to happen that sometimes are out of the control of the individuals that are victimized. We’re trying to get people to think about the things that could potentially occur when you are out, and to trust your instincts.”
Michael Ransom, captain of UCPD’s detective team, said that although he does not expect crimes like this to occur often, the police are not ruling them out.
“I think it’s an isolated incident, but we are increasing the patrols,” he said.
This article has been changed to reflect the following correction
Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article mistakenly stated that the robbery reported in this article took place on Tuesday; in fact it took place on Wednesday. Student Life regrets the error.
Tags: assault, melville, Police Department, robbery, university city, wupd