Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878

Evening robbery near campus raises student concern with crime alert system

University City is continuing to investigate last week’s robbery on Kingsbury Blvd. that has raised concern among students who live nearby but never received a crime notification about it.

Last Sunday night at about 7 p.m., a male student said he was walking on the 6600 block of Kingsbury when he was knocked to the ground and punched by a suspect. The suspects then took his backpack and fled the area.

According to University City Sergeant Fredick Lemons, the police currently believe there were two suspects. They have increased patrols in the area and are continuing to pursue multiple leads.

Several students were upset about not receiving the crime alert email regardless of the fact that the incident occurred in a neighborhood very close to theirs.

“I’m not sure why I didn’t get the email, because I seemed to get a lot of the other ones that Wash. U. sent out about that area last semester,” junior Jayshree Balakrishnan, who lives just north of the Delmar Loop said. “It’s scary living off campus, and I’d rather be aware of what’s going on around me rather than living with a false sense of security.”

The Washington University Police Department divides the neighborhoods around the Danforth Campus into distinct sections. Whenever a student or local resident reports a crime to the police, WUPD sends an alert to everyone in the section where it was committed.

But firmly drawn lines between sections often lead to students who live near the scene of a crime not knowing anything has happened close to where they live. Areas north and south of Delmar Blvd. fall under different sections, and though the crime happened on Kingsbury, residents of the Village were not informed, because the crime was off-campus.

“The more people that get the email, the more people that are aware of the issue and can be on the lookout,” Balakrishnan said.

WUPD Lt. James Roth said the goal of the University’s crime emails is to provide information to people who reside in the immediate area.

“We’re trying to say, folks, you live in this area, here’s what you need to know. ”Crime can happen anytime… this is just part of what happens.”

Junior Syndey Kapp, who lives on the South 40, wished she had received the email though it occurred in a neighborhood far from where she lives.

“Honestly, I think they should tell these things to everyone,” she said. “Plenty of students travel to and from that area, even if they don’t live there, and safety should be a top priority. Even if I don’t live there, I still want to know what’s happening around campus.”

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  • alum & neighbor says:

    You’re bummed about not getting emails? Try being a homeowner here. The only time I hear about incidents like this in my own neighborhood is when they get reported on in StudLife, because UCPD certainly doesn’t maintain any kind of mailing list and their website is pretty useless in terms of reporting incidents.

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Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878