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Special Alert--Strong-Arm Robbery in Campus Parking Lot

Sept. 21, 2015

To: The Oberlin College Community

From: Marjorie Burton, Director of Safety and Security

Date: September 21, 2015

At approximately 6:23 p.m. on Monday, September 21, 2015, a female college student reported to Safety and Security she was approached approximately 10 minutes earlier in Rice lot from behind by a lone male youth riding a bicycle who grabbed her cell phone from her hands and fled east on College toward Main Street. The youth was believed not to be affiliated with Oberlin College. The student was walking across the lot toward the city sidewalk when the incident occurred. The victim reported she saw no weapon and that she was not injured. Another student who was walking nearby assisted the student after the robbery, escorting her to make a report.

The Oberlin Police Department is 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 Safety and Security Office at 775-8444 or directly to the Oberlin Police Department at 774-1061.

While not all crimes can be prevented, and the below advice may not be specific for this incident, this communication with the community is to remind each member to take special care for your own safety and for the safety of others.

For your safety, the following suggestions are offered:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times and walk deliberately to your destination without appearing distracted. Hold items you carry, including a purse or backpack, close to your body and keep your hand on a strap.
  • Travel in pairs or groups at night. Utilize Safety and Security services, such as safety escorts and the Student Shuttle Service, which runs 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. (440-775-RIDE).
  • Know the location of the nearest Emergency “Blue Light” Phone, and use it to call for assistance or a safety escort any time you need help. All residential hall door phones also have an emergency button.
  • If you believe you are being followed, use your ID card to seek refuge in the nearest residential hall or occupied building where you can be assisted.
  • Do not stop for a stranger trying to get your attention. If someone is following you, change directions immediately and go to a safe location.
  • Report any incident of suspicious persons or acts to the Safety and Security Office at 440-775-8444 . This includes persons not known to you in parking lots, academic buildings, or residence halls.
  • You may also contact the Oberlin Police Department at 911 or 7-774-1061 for assistance.