Robberies continue to alarm. Students should walk in pairs or use Safe Ride
by Lynn Waltz
Robberies continue to be among the most alarming of crimes for O.D.U. students. Despite the best attempts of city and campus police, they continue to appear in O.D.U. alerts that warn students to walk in paires along well-lit pathways.
While cooperative in the past, O.D.U. police were not willing to release incident reports for this student newsletter, but by piecing together several sources, it is possible to recognize a pattern of clusters of robberies in the region directly south of the campus. In the past two years, most – about a dozen – occurred within the boundaries of Hampton, Powhatan, W. 43rd and W. 39th, with a cluster of about six robberies around the intersection of W. 38th St. and Colley Ave.
On Sept. 26, a young female student was walking alone at approximately 8:30 p.m. at Elkhorn Avenue and West 40th Street near Taco Bell when she was approached by two males– one white, one Hispanic. One of the men indicated he had a firearm and demanded personal property from the victim. Both suspects fled on foot, running west away from Hampton Boulevard.. The victim described one as wearing an O.D.U. shirt and jeans with a hoodie, while the other was wearing a hoodie, jeans and white sneakers.
On Sept. 2, at approximately 1 a.m., six students were robbed by four males, one carrying a handgun. Each student’s wallet and iPhones were taken. No one was injured and the suspects ran away north on Powhatan. The victims said two were light-skinned black males, about 5-feet-ten, with dreadlocks. Two others were black males, one with dark skin and short hair.
On Aug. 25, at about 1 a.m., an Old Dominion University student was assaulted and robbed in the 1200 block of 43rd St. while walking alone. Two men picked a fight which escalated. The victim was physically assaulted and knocked to the ground before having his backpack stolen. The student sought medical treatment for his injuries at the Student Health Services, where he was treated and released. The suspects were described as young males around age 25, one white and the other “light-skinned”.
On Oct. 19, 2013, another robbery occurred on the north side of campus when a student was walking alone through Lot 44 at about 1:38 a.m. Three black males in their 20s, all between 6′ and 6’2″, got out of a black Hyundai Elantra. One struck the student in the face, while the other two pinned him down and tried to get his wallet out of his pocket. The victim fought back and the men left in their car without the wallet. Subsequently on Nov. 18, ODU police and Naval Criminal Investigative Services announced that they had arrested five men – not ODU students – and charged them with a variety of crimes related to the attempted robbery. Though specific details of the case have yet to be released, police say that three of the men were charged with attempted robbery, assault by a mob and racially-motivated assault (a hate crime). Two other two men were charged as accessories after the fact, for making false statements to the police after having made contact with the perpetrators on the night in question.
On Oct. 25, around W. 37th and W. 38th, a robbery occurred, according to the O.D.U. crime log. No other information is available.
Previous robberies in 2012 and the early part of 2013 occurred at the following locations: Parker at W. 41st, Elkhorn at at W. 41st, two at Bowden Ferry at W. 42nd, W. 43rd between Bowden Ferry and Hampton Blvd, two at Bowden Ferry at W. 40th, Bowden Ferry at W. 39th, Hampton Blvd. at W. 47th, W. 48 at Colley, Killam at W. 38th, W. 39th between Killam and Colley, and four around Colley at 38th.
Because of continuing problems with the crime log – acknowledged by university police – it is difficult to do conclusive analysis or prepare comprehensive crime maps. Previously, campus police provided spread sheets for this newsletter but declined to do so this semester.