Miami University students, faculty and staff were again alerted Saturday afternoon of a robbery incident that allegedly occurred around 2 a.m. at McBride Residence Hall.
According to the sixth Campus Crime Alert, a group of first-year males were heading toward East quad on High Street when they noticed another group of three males following them. Once they arrived at McBride, the victim’s friends went inside the residence hall, while the victim remained outside.
He told police that he was approached by the group of males following him, and that they asked him for money. He replied that he had no money, at which point the group of three males allegedly began punching him. The victim got away from the three assailants by escaping to McBride Hall, and then called the Miami University Police Department (MUPD). According to reports, the victim suffered cuts and bruises.
The three were described as college-aged, white males wearing blue jeans and sweatshirts. One male was allegedly wearing an Ohio University sweatshirt, the second a Michigan State sweatshirt, and the third wore a sleeveless Ohio State basketball jersey.
According to Lt. Andrew Powers of MUPD, this is the sixth crime alert in a short period of time, totaling to past academic year’s quotas of Campus Crime Alerts. In fact, according to Miami’s Web site, there were only eight Campus Crime Alerts during the entirety of last year.
However, Powers stated that this does not indicate a more dangerous Oxford or a trend of robberies, despite its similarity to the other alerts.
“Every year is unique, some years the alerts are bundled together, some years we go months and months without seeing any,” Powers said. “Theft has always been our biggest crime here (at Miami).”
This is the second crime alert involving a student in a person-to-person robbery, though several of the alerts have involved burglary of residences.
Sgt. Jim Squance of the Oxford Police Department (OPD) asserted that this has not been an abundantly dangerous year in Oxford in regards to crime, citing that the crimes have not included assaults with serious injuries or sexual assaults. He also said there have been more citations issued because of officer-initiated arrests uptown.
“Officers are aggressively patrolling the Mile Square,” Squance said.
Squance also said the combination of good weather and over consumption of alcohol are major reasons for the amount of Campus Crime Alerts.
“This is a crime wave that is typical for the beginning of a school year,” Squance said. “When the weather breaks, there will be less people out socializing and drinking, so we’ll probably see a drop in crimes reported.”
Squance also said the fifth Campus Crime Alert escalated because the victim had been drinking and didn’t think his assailant meant harm when he initiated contact on Brown Road. The victim was cut in the stomach with a knife and had his wallet stolen in that report.
Powers said MUPD’s Web site is a crucial tool for students who wish to minimize their risks of crime in Oxford. The site lists that students should lock doors and windows, not allow tagalongs into resident halls, minimize alcohol consumption and utilize tools like the Night Time Door-to-Door service to get home rather than walking home alone at night.
“Nothing can guarantee that you won’t become a victim of a crime,” Powers said. “But your chances of becoming a victim are reduced if you follow the (MUPD) guidelines.”