Brazen robbers target CWRU students

Posted at 10:46 PM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-03 06:14:08-05

Three incredibly brazen robberies in just a few weeks seem to have a certain victim in mind -- Case Western Reserve University students.

Police from Cleveland, Cleveland Heights and University Circle are investigating because each robbery occurred within a different jurisdiction. None of them were on CWRU's campus, but just a few blocks away and during broad daylight.
The first happened on Feb. 7 at the intersection of Edgehill and Murray Hill in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood at 9:45 a.m.

A 21-year-old student standing at the intersection told police two men jumped out of a dark SUV, pointed a gun and demanded his cell phone and wallet, then took off.
The second incident happened this Monday, right around noon in the heavily trafficked Cleveland Heights neighborhood at the top of Cedar Hill.

A 22-year-old student was walking home along S. Overlook near North Park Boulevard when he told police that four men in a dark gray SUV threw him to the ground and stole his belongings.

He said they even threatened to hurt him if he didn’t give them his cell phone passcode.

The latest incident happened Tuesday around 1:45 p.m., right in front of the University Circle Police Department on E. 123rd and Euclid. A student standing at the intersection reported four men jumped out of a dark gray SUV, demanded property, got it and took off toward Mayfield Rd.

None of the students were injured, according to reports, and none of the incidents happened on CWRU’s campus. However, the university sent out security alerts to students for the Feb. 7 and March 1 incidents.

For students, it’s a sharp reminder.

“I’m more mindful, I’m not walking with both headphones in,” said Tony, a medical student. “Heck, maybe I’m not walking with headphones in at all. But it's unfortunate it had to happen up here."

CWRU also sent the following statement:

“The safety of members of our community remains Case Western Reserve’s highest priority. We are deeply grateful that none of the students were injured during the incidents on Feb. 7, Feb. 29  and March 1, but regret that they experienced such threats and loss of property. We continue to collaborate with neighboring departments to identify and apprehend suspects and increase the safety of our campus and the broader community. At the same time, we are evaluating our own outreach and education efforts as well as the deployment of our officers and other efforts.”