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Special Alert: Purse Snatching On Campus

March 1, 2011

(Unarmed theft offense from a person / immediately fleeing)

March 1, 2011 To: The Oberlin College Community From: Marjorie Burton, Director of Safety and Security

At approximately 5:38 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, 2011, a female college student reported to Emergency 9-1-1 that while beginning a transaction at an ATM machine on the lower level of Wilder Hall, she was approached from behind by two juveniles who grabbed her wallet from her hand and fled. A third juvenile, seated nearby, fled with them. The student started to pursue the juveniles, but stopped outside Wilder to phone Emergency 9-1-1. The victim reported she saw no weapon, and no physical force was involved. Neither the card involved in the transaction, nor cash from any transaction was taken. The victim was not injured. Oberlin Police and Safety and Security officers responded.

Oberlin police officers detained juveniles who fit the description given by the victim. The juveniles detained are not affiliated with Oberlin College. The Oberlin Police Department is further investigating the incident.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or any suspicious activity in the time period surrounding the incident, or may have been approached by suspicious persons on or near campus, should report the information immediately to the Office of Safety and Security at 775-8444 or directly to the Oberlin Police Department at 774-1061.

Not every crime can be prevented, and the following advice is not meant to imply the victim of this crime contributed to a situation in which he/she could be victimized. Please be aware of this general safety advice in relation to this type of crime:

• Remain aware of your surroundings at all times. If something doesn’t seem right, report it to the Safety and Security office.

• In utilizing an ATM machine, avoid making a transaction if only strangers are present. If not with trusted friends, seek assistance by contacting a building monitor, or by asking the Office of Safety and Security to have an officer patrol through your area while making a transaction.

• If you become a victim of a crime, remain calm and observant. Seek safety with others as soon as you can, and notify the police by phoning Emergency 9-1-1.

• If you believe you are being followed, seek refuge in the nearest residential hall or occupied building where you can be assisted.

• Report any incident of suspicious persons or acts to the Office of Safety and Security at 440-775-8444 (or Ext. 58444). This includes persons not known to you in parking lots, academic buildings, or residence halls.

• You may also contact the Oberlin Police Department at 9-1-1 or 440-774-1061.
Marjorie L. Burton
Director of Safety and Security
159 West Lorain Street
Oberlin, OH 44074
Phone: (440) 775-8444 / -5782
FAX: (440) 775-8886
E-mail: marjorie.burton@oberlin.edu