MILWAUKEE -- In less than 12 hours, two robberies and an attempted robbery occurred around the Marquette University campus. The incidents prompted Marquette University police to issue a campus-wide safety alert.
"We are increasing patrols. We have the capability to do that immediately," said Paul Mascari, Marquette University police chief.
The first robbery occurred around 3:00 p.m. Sunday, September 25th near 13th and Wisconsin.
Officials say the victim was walking in the area when an unknown male on a bicycle rode up and took the victim's wallet. A brief altercation ensued before the suspect rode off eastbound on Wisconsin Avenue.
Just before midnight, another robbery occurred near 14th and Wisconsin. Officials say the suspect wrestled a cell phone out of a female student's hands. The suspect then fled on foot out of the area. The cell phone was later recovered.
A third incident occurred around 6:00 a.m. Monday morning, September 26th. Officials say a woman was approached by a man in his 20s demanding property near 17th and State. The suspect was armed with a weapon.
No property was taken -- and the suspect fled the area northbound in a dark-colored vehicle.
"While incidents like this are certainly very concerning to us, I do want to stress that Marquette and the surrounding neighborhoods remain safe," said Mascari.
Students received texts and emails from the university about the incidents.
"I think it was just a warning for us to just be cautious about walking around and not doing anything that would make us an easy target," said Kennedy Coleman, freshman.
"If it is late at night, I take a limo home or walk with someone else who is going in the same direction," said Connor Basch, junior.
A word of advice...
"We always encourage people to be compliant. Give up your property. You can always replace that," said Mascari.
Then, you should call police.
Chief Mascari issued this statement to FOX6 News regarding these incidents:
Dear members of the Marquette community,
I’m writing to give you additional information about three incidents that happened in our area over the weekend. First, I want to let you know that we immediately moved to put additional officers out on patrol early this morning, and will maintain an increased presence.
Our officers responded to two robberies and one attempted robbery. One of those incidents involved one of our students, who thankfully was uninjured. We do not believe these incidents are related.
While incidents like these are certainly concerning, our campus continues to be very safe. Because we now have a dedicated police presence on campus and in the near off campus area, we are able to respond to crime trends more quickly. We continue to see significant decreases in crime, including robberies, since our department was commissioned in May 2015, but we know there are challenges unique to being located in an urban area.
Our focus is to give our students every possible safety resource. These measures include student safety patrols, our LIMO escort van service, a text alert system and more than 450 blue light phones and 700 video surveillance cameras.
We will always work tirelessly to address these issues with our partners in the Milwaukee Police Department and I’m confident together we can continue to improve our neighborhood.
We also are looking for help in finding the suspects involved in these cases. We ask that anyone with information please call 414-288-1911.
All Marquette students, faculty, staff, guests and visitors are reminded to:
- Walk in pairs or groups, being aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Use the LIMO and safety patrol services provided by MUPD. Call (414) 288-6363 for Student Safety Patrol escorts.
- During evening hours watch for the LIMO with strobe lights patrolling the perimeters of campus; the driver may ask if you want a ride or want to request a walking escort.
- Make sure someone knows when you leave and when to expect you back.
- Download the BlueLight safety app which allows users to connect directly to the MUPD and has a unique "On My Way" feature that allows uses to share their location with a select group of contacts. The app is available to both iOS and Android users.
- Do not become distracted by talking on your cell phone or listening to music through headphones at a high volume.
- Travel on well-lit, busy streets and avoid walking through alleys and parking lots.
- Be aware of places along your path of travel that could conceal a criminal (shrubbery, building recesses, etc.). Avoid or keep a distance from these areas whenever possible.
- Take note of suspicious vehicles, especially those that appear to be circling the block or driving unusually slow. If you observe a suspicious vehicle, relay its description and location to MUPD using one of the more than 450 blue light phones on and near campus.
- If you think someone is following you, cross the street, head for a well-populated, well-lit area and contact MUPD using one of the more than 450 blue light phones on and near campus.
- If you plan to drink, do so in moderation to avoid putting yourself in a position of increased risk.
- If approached, give up your property.