Cops and Robbers

By Nikita King and Paris Boynes

On April 14th, 2011, three men wearing ski masks and carrying firearms robbed Old Dominion University student Robert Chewning at gunpoint in his own home.

“I knew it was like this but it just sucks that we as students are not very safe here,” Chewning said later.

Perhaps no crime frightens students more than robbery and at Old Dominion University, it can seem like the emailed alerts come all too often. Relief came in 2012 when there were no robberies reported, but was short lived when it shot back up to five in 2013. So far, since January, there have been only three robberies.In some cases, students are not even safe at their homes. On March 28, two men robbed three students sitting on their front porch in the 1300 block of West 39th Street. The robbers covered their faces with bandanas and have not been arrested.

On March 4, Jeremiah Brown, a senior at Old Dominion University, was working at Tropical Smoothie Café in the 4300 block of Monarch Way when a young man handed him a note that said “don’t move, don’t make any noise, take the money out of the register and put it into the bag. I have a gun, hurry up.”

Tropical Smoothie evening shift worker accounts the details of the night the eatery was robbed.

Tropical Smoothie evening shift worker accounts the details of the night the eatery was robbed.

Thinking it was a joke; Jeremiah read the note again before handing over an undetermined amount of cash.

Three weeks later, police charged twenty-two year old Derik James Lochotski with the robbery. Lochotzki is being held without bail.

Jeremiah, who has worked at Tropical Smoothie since June, said “he was pretty shaken up from the incident but still continues to work the same night hours because he needs the money.”

Other robberies include:

  • December 3rd 2013, 800 black of West 39th Street, just east to the Highland Park neighborhood. 10:28 p.m. and was later reported just about thirty minutes later at 10:53. The case became inactive February 17th of this year meaning that no further action will be taken by a law on the investigation.
  • January 27th intersection of 39th Street and Colley Avenue; 7:45-7:59 p.m. that was handed over to the Norfolk Police Department.
  • January 17th 5:32 in the 4700 block of Powhatan Avenue near the Student Recreation Center. An arrest was made a little over a month later in late February.

Campus Police have moved 10-12 uniformed officers out of administrative jobs and onto the campus, especially during the night hours, Lieutenant Keitha Boone said during an interview April 2.

Boone said students should not walk around with valuables especially late at night. “Take note of your surroundings. Avoid secluded areas,” she said. Also, to stay cool, even if there’s a gun pointed at your head. If a student can ID a suspect later, they might save someone else’s life.

“It’s important to get a good look at the person. Start at the head. How tall or short are they in reference to you. Be aware of what they look like,” Boone said.

Students often take unnecessary chances by walking alone especially if they have been drinking, she said.