On Monday night, the Springfield College campus became the victim of two separate unarmed robberies.
Both incidents involved cell phones and both took place on Alden Street. The first occurred just before 8 p.m. in front of Weiser Hall, while the second crime was less than 20 minutes later outside the Allied Health Science Center.
In both instances, the suspects asked the victims to use their cell phones to make a phone call before taking it and running away.
“The suspects in the first incident were described as three black males in their late teens to early twenties dressed all in black. The suspect in the second incident was described as a black male in his late teens to early twenties wearing a white sweater and dark pants,” said Associate Dean of Students Terry Vecchio.
According to Chief Judy Jackson, these two robberies are unrelated, yet the individual in the second incident may have done the same at nearby American International College.
“The description of the subject at AIC fits the [description of] the subject here with the student,” said Jackson. “So we know it’s the same person.”
“When we heard about AIC, we beefed up controls, thinking he will try and come back. It’s a matter of availability, timing. Unfortunately, I don’t believe we can prevent this, but we can by getting the word out.”
Jackson went on to say that both a SC sergeant and an office are in contact with Springfield detectives to find the suspect.
Although these crimes were committed by individuals outside the Springfield College community, Jackson did note that theft can also happen internally.
“We’re having the same problem in the dining hall as well,” said Jackson. “I can’t tell you how many cell phones have disappeared out of the dining hall, while students have gone to get their meals.”
Cheney and Babson Library have also been places where it is common for cell phones to be stolen. When students leave phones or devices unattended at tables Jackson says “opportunity crimes” may occur.
“They see it, there they are and it’s gone,” said Jackson.
There’s not much to do to prevent these sorts of instances, as well as theft during intramural games. The only real prevention is to be observant.
“This is a safe campus,” said Jackson. “But if you’re going to leave it out and give someone the opportunity to take it, they’re going to do it.”
Almost every student on campus has some sort of cell phone or mobile device, which could be valuable or expensive. But Jackson suggests not allowing something that could be replaced to cost anyone physical harm.
Options to stay safe, especially during the evening is to use the shuttle, walk with a group, and just be aware of the surroundings and situations.
Jackson said if something seems wrong on campus to contact campus police, which is an easier way to solve these problems in the future.