Police investigating recent robberies

Temple Police said three armed robberies occurred in the span of two days last week, two of which are connected.

Temple and Philadelphia Police are searching for suspects related to three armed robberies reported near Main Campus last week.

Most recently, at Broad and Jefferson streets Friday night, an armed man wearing a ski mask robbed a 19-year-old male student of his phone and wallet, police said.

The wallet contained two debit cards and $2.

Since the incident, police have been reviewing video from private residences near the robbery, Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said. Patrols have also increased in the area, he added.

“I don’t want to take any chances,” he said. “I want to make sure everybody is safe down there.”

A TU Alert was sent out around 11:15 p.m., the third in the span of two days.

Leone said two men caught on surveillance footage are suspects in two Thursday morning robberies unrelated to Friday’s incident—one involving a stolen car near 10th Street and Susquehanna Avenue and the other on 15th Street near Montgomery Avenue.

Leone said the car belonged to a former Temple football player who is still part of the program. He is no longer playing, due to a leg injury, Leone added.

Leone said while carjackings are not common around Main Campus, the crime is not particularly surprising.

“It’s more of a crime of opportunity,” Leone said. “He sees him pull up in the car, leaves his car out there, runs in the store, comes running back out, and [the suspects] took the car … we don’t get a lot of that, that’s for sure. So it seems when they saw the Cadillac there, that’s what they wanted.”

In the later robbery, the same two suspects are believed to have taken an iPhone 4, $32, keys and identification from another student, Leone said.

Philadelphia Police has released video of the two men connected in both of Thursday’s incidents.

“Video’s been so helpful to us,” Leone said of pulling footage connected to recent robberies. “I wish it would never happen to us, but when it does happen, the video has been really helpful in identifying people.”

Several freshman students on campus Sunday afternoon said they still feel safe after recent incidents close to Main Campus.

“I’ve been pretty indifferent towards it,” freshman communication studies major Josh Zegans said. “I know to avoid certain areas, but I feel pretty safe around here.”

Berk Atillasoy, an undeclared freshman, said the robbery at Broad and Jefferson streets was surprising, given its central location.

“You wouldn’t really think of stuff happening on the southern side of campus,” Atillasoy said. “You usually associate it with stuff past Diamond and whatnot. So yeah, I guess it’s somewhat concerning, but it’s North Philly, you just have to be aware.”

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@temple.edu or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.

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