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Recent Robberies Bring New Cautions

MIT and Cambridge police are maintaining the increased patrols they mounted last week after four incidents in which people were accosted on or near the campus by an armed robber.

The robberies (one technically an attempted robbery because the victim had no money) were the first such incidents on or near the campus this academic year. The number equals the robberies reported during all of last year, Campus Police reported.

Police Chief Anne P. Glavin said the increased patrolling is intended to create "greater visibility" of police officers and act as a deterrent. But she said that students and other community members should never lose sight of the fact that the MIT campus is an urban one and is accessible to the public.

No one was hurt in the incidents. The latest one occurred about 2:30am on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at the entrance of Ashdown House on the Amherst Street side. A student returning to Ashdown was accosted by a person who held a knife against his side. The robber got away with $4.

On Saturday, Oct. 16, at about 9:30pm on Vassar Street near Building 20, a person visiting an MIT student was stopped by a robber who showed a gun. The hold-up victim had no money.

Two incidents occurred the next day, October 17, the first at about 2:30am near Building 54 ($5 was taken), and the second about five minutes later in Amherst Alley near Burton House ($11 was taken). Guns were shown in both incidents.

The MIT Campus Police Crime Prevention Unit distributed flyers calling attention to the incidents and recommended that students and others walk in groups rather than alone, make use of the Campus Police escort service by calling 3-2996 and use SafeRide.

Police strongly advise against fighting to retain property if you are confronted by a robber.

The Campus Police can be contacted by dialing 100 from any campus phone or by using any of the blue emergency phones. From off campus, the police can be reached at 253-1212.

A version of this article appeared in the October 27, 1993 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 11).

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