WUPD alerts students to semester’s fifth off-campus crime occurrence

| Senior News Editor

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is currently investigating a carjacking that occurred early Sept. 18, in the face of an uptick in off-campus crime.

The incident occurred outside of the Washington University Police Department patrol zone, but the memo was sent to students in light of recent crime in the area and the incident’s proximity to campus.

After parking their car in the 5900 block of Delmar Ave. around 12 a.m., two civilians unassociated with the University were approached by three men wearing surgical masks. The men displayed a handgun, demanded their belongings and drove away in the victims’ car. They were last seen heading north on Hamilton Avenue.

At 12:30 a.m., a Washington University graduate student and the roommate of one of the victims, reported to WUPD that her car key, which was in her roommate’s purse, was also stolen.

In response to the surge of crimes, WUPD Chief of Police Mark Glenn continues to advise students to take caution in their surroundings both on and off campus.

“The one thing I really try to tell people is situational awareness, making sure you’re aware of your surroundings and what’s going on, and then trusting your instincts,” Glenn said. “If you feel something’s wrong, trust it and get yourself to a safe area. And have a plan. Many times, having some pre-thought of how you would react to situations, or how you would get help, is very helpful in a stressful situation.”

The Campus2Home shuttle service and a new neighborhood bike patrol, designed to keep the area safer for students who live off-campus, were implemented two weeks ago and will continue to be in service.

Glenn explained that crime concentrations such as these are not unprecedented.

“We’ve seen clusters of crime in a short time frame in the past,” Glenn said. “I’ve talked to my peers throughout the St. Louis metro area, including St. Louis City and Clayton and University City. They see similar patterns where it’s those clusters. It’s something that is seen in the past couple of years, but it’s not that unusual just to our area. It’s kind of St. Louis metro-wide that we’re seeing similar clusters in a short amount of time.”

WUPD and the University plan to increase efforts to keep the campus and the surrounding areas safe.

“We’re continuing to work through it. We’re not content with this,” Glenn said. “I think it’s a larger area-wide issue that really is going to take the work of many local government agencies to help stem this. We’re going to do our part, and I know the University is going to do their part with that as well.”

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