A series of crimes struck Georgetown University before and over Thanksgiving break, as officials stepped up warnings to take extra caution during an expected period of increased crime as the holidays approach.
The Department of Public Safety responded to a robbery and a theft on consecutive days last week and also apprehended a person last weekend for suspicious behavior.
The first incident occurred the morning of Nov. 21 a few minutes before 3 a.m., when a student reported to DPS that a black car with four men inside stopped on 35th Street and asked for directions, according to Felicia Lucas, second district lieutenant for the etropolitan Police Department. Two of the men jumped out of the car and demanded the student’s wallet and cellular phone, according to a university security alert sent later that day.
According to the alert, the student complied and was not harmed but could not provide a description of the robbers or the two men who remained in the car. MPD was notified and canvassed the area, the alert said.
According to Lucas, MPD has not yet made any arrests in the case.
“Right now we don’t have any [leads], but it is an ongoing investigation,” Lucas said.
A theft on campus occurred the following day at around 5 p.m., when an unknown person gained entry into Andrew Munfakh’s (COL ’09) dorm room, according to an MPD crime report.
The total value of the missing items from the room was $270, according to MPD estimates. The stolen goods included a camera, an iPod Nano and a pair of sneakers. DPS Director Darryl Harrison said that DPS responded and was able to detain the suspect.
A third incident took place outside LXR Hall on Saturday when an individual was apprehended by DPS for “suspicious” behavior and barred from university property, according to Harrison.
Harrison said that if the suspects from both the Wednesday and Saturday incidents return to campus, they will be subject to arrest.
Lucas said that she does not believe the criminal acts have any connection. “There appear to be no patterns at this time,” she said.
Harrison said that the events represent a normal increase in crime that occurs during the holiday season.
“Incidents such as thefts and burglaries, as well as street robberies, unfortunately do have a tendency to increase during the holiday season,” Harrison said. “We encourage our community to keep that in mind.”
Lucas said that MPD will be publishing a crime awareness bulletin for Second District residents.
Vice President for University Safety Dave Morrell added that students should be particularly aware of their surroundings in coming weeks.
“It is easy for the students to get absorbed in studying and leaving their laptops, cell phones and other expensive personal property unattended, which plays right into the hands of those wishing to steal this kind of property,” he said.
Morrell said that students should lock their doors and keep their property with them at all times in public spaces like Lauinger Library. He reminded students to be watchful of their laptops because “losing [one] at finals time can be devastating.”