Two WU students robbed during armed carjacking on Pershing Ave
Two Washington University students were robbed on the 6100 block of Pershing Avenue at 10:40 p.m., Feb. 28.
Two males in dark clothing and masks approached the students displaying handguns and demanding their property. After receiving the students’ cell phones, wallets and car keys, one subject struck a student in the face and knocked him to the ground. Both subjects then drove away in a car belonging to one of the students.
The Washington University Police Department notified the student body of this incident in an email at 11:40 p.m. that night. WUPD and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department will collaborate on the followup and investigation of the robbery by sharing information and working together on “partner patrols” in the areas near the location of the crime. Additionally, WUPD will employ the strategy of “hotspot patrols,” which involve periods of high police presence in certain areas at certain intervals.
“[Hotspot patrols involve] a very high intensity police presence, but it’s kind of limited in its scope,” WUPD Chief Mark Glenn said. “What we tend to do is every couple hours we’ll have officers spend 10, 15, 20 minutes specifically in that area, probably a combination of foot patrol and bike patrol, but we want them to be accessible to the neighbors. It’s been proven that hotspot patrols designed like that really can impact an area in a short duration. It can really deter crime or displace it.”
Glenn also emphasized the importance of helping students and other residents feel secure and unintimidated by WUPD’s increased presence in these neighborhoods, citing the need to build strong relationships between the community and the police department.
“When there’s a connection with the community and the police, it can be a really effective strategy to reduce crime in that area, so having people know that we’re not there just to increase police [presence], but there’s a specific purpose why we’re there and that we’re always available to people if they need an escort, if they have a question, if they think they saw something, that they can reach out to us,” Glenn said.
Additionally, Glenn advises students walking around late at night to always stay alert of their surroundings, trust their instincts and never hesitate to reach out to WUPD.
“[If someone is a victim of a crime] report it right away,” Glenn said. “And if they see something suspicious, call. If something happens to them or they witness it happen to someone else, call us right away and let us get on the area to help.”