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Graduate students robbed at gunpoint

Three graduate students were robbed at gunpoint on 2750 Campus Walk Ave. at 1 a.m. Saturday.

A man displaying a silver handgun approached the students—who were all Asian females—and proceeded to rob them, said Lt. J.E. Yount, Durham Police Department watch commander on duty Sunday.

The robber, who is described as a black male wearing a cloth mask over his face, demanded the wallets and purses of the three students before fleeing toward Erwin Road on foot, Yount said.

“My understanding is that after the incident, Durham Police have increased patrols, and they are working in coordination with Duke police to do so,” Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta said.

Yount declined to release the names of the victims but said that they did not suffer any injuries from the robberies. He added that the suspect has not yet been discovered.

Duke Police Chief John Dailey said he was glad that the graduate students were not injured during the robbery and that Duke Police is continuing to increase security efforts in the area where the robbery occurred.

“We had actually already increased patrols in that area before the incident had occurred,” Dailey said. “We have been working with the property owners in the area to help them with their security as well.”

Moneta added that students should take extra precaution when walking around late at night, especially given that it is the beginning of the school year.

Dailey said it is important that students are aware of their surroundings, particularly if they live off campus.

“Anybody that is renting an apartment off campus really needs to understand what their property managers are doing for crime prevention,” he said. “They need to ask their property management what crimes have occurred. I encourage students to visit the Durham Police website and look at that map that shows you where crimes have occurred and when.”

And though there have been a series of break-ins at the Belmont Apartments—close to where Saturday’s incident occurred—this summer and last Spring, Moneta said he could not extrapolate as to whether these crimes were related.

“Whether it was one student robbed or multiple, the issue is concerning,” he said. “But this doesn’t suggest a trend, and I am certainly hoping that increased security will prevent robberies in the future.”

Moneta sent an email alerting the student body of the incident shortly after it occurred Saturday morning.

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