MILWAUKEE — The Marquette University Police Department is warning students to be alert — after two women were robbed in downtown Milwaukee near campus. It happened around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26 in the area of 22nd and Wells.
According to police, at approximately 10:15 p.m. three women approached a woman, struck her, and demanded property. The suspects fled on foot with the victim's cell phone.
Shortly after, a block away, the suspects approached a second woman and took her purse.
Neither victim was physically injured. In each incident, police say the women were walking alone when they were approached.
"It just gives me more of a heightened sense," said Nicole Allee, who works on the campus. "I do walk alone. I have places to go at night. It gets dark by 4 (p.m.) now, so it's kind of hard to always be with people."
Students and staff at Marquette University are disappointed by the recent crime.
"I'm not exactly surprised, but it is kind of annoying because we should be able to, as women, walk around campus whenever without fear," said Marquette junior Claire Conger.
Marquette University police are reminding students to be vigilant after the robberies. Police say the three women, claiming to have weapons, struck a woman walking alone near 22nd and Wells around 10:15 p.m, taking her cell phone. Shortly after, they say the same three women approached another woman a block away and stole her purse. Neither victim is a student.
"The best advice is if you're approached is just to give up the property," said Tom Wichgers, a Marquette University police officer.
Who you walk with and when are also factors.
"Walk in pairs, walk in well-lit areas, be aware of your surroundings and just reduce the amount of distractions you have," Officer Wichgers said.
Police are asking students to use campus communications apps and free ride services. Students were alerted about the robberies via text and email.
FOX6 News checked surveillance cameras in the area. They did not capture what the suspects looked like, and Marquette University police did not have any video or images to pass along.
If you have more information, please contact MUPD at 414-288-6800.
All Marquette students, faculty, staff, guests and visitors are reminded to:
- Always travel in pairs or groups, being aware of your surroundings at all times. Make sure someone knows when you leave and when to expect you back.
- When on campus, 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.
- The use of alcohol by students under age 21 is against the law and against university policy.
- If you do plan to drink, be responsible, and do so in moderation.
- When using a ride sharing service or taxi for transportation, please take steps to ensure your safety:
- Make sure to match your driver’s name, car and license plate with the information provided through the app on your phone.
- Avoid anyone who offers a ride when it is not clear that they are directly affiliated with an established taxi or ride-sharing service.
- If you observe any suspicious behavior or fear for your safety at any time, contact MUPD at (414) 288-1911 or through one of the more than 450 blue light phones on and near campus.
- Enter MUPD’s number in your phone so you have it handy at all times.
- 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.
- Do not become distracted by talking on your cell phone or listening to music through headphones at a high volume.
- If approached, give up your property.