Johns Hopkins Gazette: October 23, 1995

Security Alert

     At 6:45 a.m. on Oct. 12, an assailant matching the
description in four previous robberies robbed a student in the
lobby of Wyman Towers Apartments and at 9 a.m. attempted to rob
another student walking north in the 3100 block of N. Charles
Street. Neither student was injured. 

     As a result of prompt reporting by these students, Northern
District and Homewood campus police were able to converge on the
area, where a suspect was apprehended. Positive identification
was made at the scene, and the male was arrested and charged with
these two robberies. 

     Northern District police have created a photo lineup and are
reinterviewing recent robbery victims to determine if the above
assailant was involved in other area robberies. The investigation
continues, assisted by campus police, amid heightened patrols of
Charles Village and the south end of campus.

     "This suspect has been charged with four crimes, and two
more charges are pending," said Homewood Security director Ron
Mullen. "He is suspected of being responsible for the robberies
in which he accosted a victim while holding his hand in a bag as
if he had a weapon."

     Mullen said that this suspect is only one of the people
responsible for the rash of robberies in the neighborhood since
the beginning of the fall semester, a period in which his office
has issued 15 off-campus and four on-campus crime alerts. Last
year only six alerts had been issued by the winter recess.

     Mullen suggested multiple causes for the recent increase in
Homewood-area crimes, such as an electrical blackout and a
temporary diversion of police patrols in the area.

     The security director also noted that the success of the
Central District Police to the south and various neighborhood
security efforts--such as the extra paid security force hired by
the Charles Village Benefits District--is effective at pushing
criminals off their streets, but not at resolving the problems
that motivate their crimes. 

     "Drugs are still the engine for most of these robberies,"
Mullen said. "These assailants are opportunistic, and they have
time, and need, on their side. So even though our office and the
Northern District Police have extra officers on patrol, when
these units break away, 55 minutes later there's a car break-in
or a student gets robbed." Steps are now being taken to have an
additional Hopkins Security patrol in Charles Village all night
while school is in session, Mullen said.

     Mullen suggested that students, faculty and staff use
caution when walking through the neighborhood. When you go out
after dark, he said, do not travel alone. Or if you must, call
the Security Escort Service, at (410) 516-4600. Finally, if you
are approached on the street, he said, just comply with the
assailant's demands. "We don't want anyone taking foolish

     At 1:55 a.m. on Oct. 18, a student walking south in the 3200
block of St. Paul Street was approached by a male who placed an
object against the student's left side as if armed and demanded
the student's wallet. The assailant took the money and returned
the wallet and then ran east on the 100 block of 31st Street. The
student was not injured.

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