String of Robberies Near Temple’s Campus Has Students On Edge

WRITTEN BY DALTON BALTHASER

The ongoing issue of violence and theft at and around Temple University continues to plague the area after the latest instances of violence.

There were four separate incidents over the past five days. One occurred on Friday when a 19-year-old Temple student was walking along the 1400 block of Jefferson Street around 10:45 p.m.

Police said that a man approached him from behind, pointed a handgun at his head, and ordered him to give up his belongings. Police described him as thin, about 5 foot 6, and dressed in a black-hooded sweatshirt. The suspect also had a dark-colored ski mask on.

The suspect took a wallet with two debit cards and two dollars in cash. He also took an iPhone 6 before taking off west on Jefferson.

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 1.24.33 PMStudents received a warning from TU Alert around 11:30 p.m. Friday. It is being investigated as “an isolated incident,” Temple University spokesman Brandon Lausch said to Philly.com.

In a second incident, two men approached a 21-year-old and attempted to force him into his car at gunpoint at about 12:30 a.m. Thursday at 10th Street and Susquehanna Avenue.

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The victim refused and then was forced to the ground by the suspects, who in turn stole his 2005 Cadillac CTS, cell phone and keys.

Close to three hours later, two men, one armed, robbed a 24-year-old student. The suspects took his cell phone, wallet and keys near 15th Street and Montgomery Avenue, police said.

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In addition to the other incident that occurred on Friday, a 26-year-old man was pistol-whipped in a home invasion on the 1900 block of Diamond Street, which is close to three blocks away from Temple’s campus.

The investigators reportedly were told by the victim that he knew the suspects by name.

The recent attacks that have happened near Temple’s campus have left students weary of their safety. Stephen Ong, a sophomore who plays on the men’s tennis team lives off campus with a teammate. He had no clue of the recent attacks.

“On weeknights when it is after 10 p.m. I won’t leave my house,” Ong said. “North Philadelphia can be pretty dangerous, so I try to be aware of where I am going and my surroundings to make sure that I am safe.”

Jenny Roberts, a sophomore journalism major said that she does feel safe on campus, but understands that any student can be at risk.

“Unfortunately, the [violence] that has happened is hard to avoid in this area,” Roberts said. “I pay more attention when I am walking around campus, because people in this area can pick out students and [the students] can be easy targets for them.”

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