Series of armed robberies
near campus hit home

An armed robbery of two campus visitors on Feb. 7 was the first time this year that violent crime has occurred on campus. The victims of the crime had attended the opening of the Carlos Museum exhibition, "Discovery and Deceit: Archaeology and the Forger's Craft." They were approached by two males at 9:30 p.m. as they went to their car in the B. Jones lot, near the Jones Center. The victims described the robbers as black males about 17 years old; one was 6'1" and the other was about 5'8". They took cash and the couple's automobile, which was later recovered.

Since mid January, there have been four armed robberies in the neighborhood around Emory: "Emory has never been immune from crime or the impact of crime in the local community," said Ray Edge, assistant chief. "But we've always had a much lower rate of violent crime. With these armed robberies around us and now one on campus, this increase in frequency concerns us that a trend may be developing."

Edge was quick to note that this increase in armed robberies has to be put in context of trends in DeKalb County. According to Chuck Johnson, public information officer for the DeKalb County Police, the number of armed robberies in the county has remained fairly flat for the past five years: in 1994 there were 2,002; in 1995 there were 1,718; and in 1996 there were 2,064; the 20 percent increase in armed robberies in 1996 followed a 15 percent decrease from 1994 to 1995. "This may be just a spurt; we've had these spurts before and then everything will go back to normal. It's too soon to tell if this is part of a trend or not," said Edge.

The Emory Police review calendars of upcoming campus events so they can be a visible presence before and after the events. "With some things, like Evening at Emory classes, which are so spread out, it's impossible for us to be everywhere at once," said Craig Watson, chief of the Emory Police. Campus groups who sponsor evening events may notify the Emory Police of the time they expect their event to end and the number of visitors they expect. The Campus Escort Service is available from dusk to dawn by calling 727-8005.

"Education is a big part of what we're doing; teaching people how to protect themselves," said Watson. "We want to work with the community to provide the services that meet the needs of the community."

-Jan Gleason

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