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WFU sends message to campus community about recent robberies

October 31, 2008

Wake Forest University e-mailed a message to its students, staff and faculty Oct. 31 about recent armed robberies that have occurred near the campus and on the campus.

One robbery occurred at the university on the evening of Oct. 30, when a female student was robbed in a campus parking lot.  She was forced to take the robber to ATM machines in Winston-Salem before the robber got out of the car in the Kimberly Park area of the city.  The robber struck the student, but she was not seriously injured.

Another female student was robbed in an Oct. 28 incident at a housing complex near Wake Forest.  A man who lives on Brookwood Drive near Wake Forest was robbed Oct. 27 outside his home.

The following message was distributed by the Wake Forest University News Service:

Wake Forest University is responding to recent off-campus robberies and one on-campus robbery with intensified security efforts, an ongoing investigation, and a request to students, faculty and staff to take reasonable security precautions.

Within recent days, one armed robbery occurred on campus and two armed robberies occurred nearby off-campus.  Police are investigating the robberies.  No arrests have been made.  The University Police Department is investigating the on-campus robbery; the Winston-Salem Police Department is investigating all three robberies.  

In each instance, a man with a pistol robbed a person who was alone as that person was inside or near their vehicle.  All cases occurred between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

The most recent robbery occurred on campus.  A female Wake Forest student was robbed at approximately 8:45 p.m. Oct. 30 in Parking Lot R2, near Polo Residence Hall.  The student, who was exiting her car, was approached by a man with a handgun who insisted that she drive him to ATM machines in Winston-Salem.  The man got out of the car in the Kimberly Park area, near downtown Winston-Salem.  At one point, the man struck the student, but she was not seriously injured.  After the man left the car, the student returned to campus and contacted University Police.

Another female Wake Forest student was robbed at approximately 9 p.m. Oct. 28 at Deacon Ridge, a multi-family housing development just north of campus on University Parkway.  She was in her car in a Deacon Ridge parking lot when a man armed with a handgun approached and robbed her before fleeing.  She was not injured.

A man on Brookwood Drive, off Polo Road, was robbed by a man with a handgun at approximately 7:15 p.m. Oct. 27.  The victim, who is not associated with Wake Forest, told police he was robbed after he got out of his car and began walking toward his home.

The University and Winston-Salem police departments are in close communication about the on and off-campus robberies as investigations continue.

Meanwhile, University Police officers are taking steps to increase police presence in certain areas of campus, while considering other responses to the incidents.  All University Police officers are informed of the recent robberies.

University and Winston-Salem police are also investigating recent break-ins near campus, as well as case in which a man broke into a house in early October while it was occupied by a Wake Forest student.  The student told police she pushed the man outside and locked the door.  She was not injured.  The University Police Department does not believe this case is related to the robberies.

The University Police Department offers the following recommendations:

  • People are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings.
  • People are encouraged to be cautious when entering and exiting their vehicle.
  • Do not park a vehicle if something or someone in the area appears suspicious.  Continue driving and contact the police.
  • Avoid walking alone at night.  Make arrangements to walk in groups and in well-lit areas.  When possible, use the campus Shuttle Service, which operates every day from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.
  • Students are urged to keep residence hall rooms locked.  Students should not prop open doors intended to be locked at all times.
  • Students should not lend keys or key cards to anyone.
  • Report crimes or suspicious activity on campus to University Police.  When using a cell phone, call 336-758-5911.  Call 911 when using a campus phone/extension.

Anyone with information that might assist in the investigation of the robberies is encouraged to call University Police or the Winston-Salem Police Department.  A call can be made anonymously to University Police Crime Stoppers at 758-4477 or Winston-Salem Crimestoppers at 727-2800.

Press Contacts:

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

Cheryl Walker
(336) 758-5237

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