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Loyola Works To Reduce Growing Trend Of Violent Crime Around Campus

Loyola-2There are still no arrests in two armed robberies that took place near Loyola University Chicago’s Lake Shore Campus earlier this month.

The two armed robberies took place within minutes of each other on May 6 and are part of a larger trend around the Loyola Lake Shore Campus. The first involved a handgun on a sidewalk at 1000 W. Sheridan Road around 3:30 a.m. The second, an aggravated vehicular hijacking, took place at 2100 W. Pratt Blvd. around 3:35 a.m.

Loyola University Chicago issued a crime alert after the first armed robbery near Sheridan and Winthrop on the Lake Shore Campus.

The alert said three Loyola students were walking on Sheridan Road between Kenmore and Winthrop when two offenders approached them and demanded their valuables. One offender displayed a silver handgun, the alert said. “The students complied and the offenders fled west on Sheridan toward Broadway without further incident,” the alert said.

The Chicago Police Department described the offenders as male and African-American. One was in his early to mid-20s and wore a black hooded sweatshirt and dark pants. The other was roughly 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall, with a slim build, and was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt.

Additionally, Loyola also issued a separate crime alert regarding a shooting that occurred in the 1200 block of W. Columbia on the evening of May 5.

Those with information about these crimes are asked to contact Loyola Campus Safety at 773-508-6039 or the Chicago Police Department via 911 or 312-744-8263.

These crimes are part of a continuing trend in the area of the campus located in Edgewater and Rogers Park.

On Dec. 5, 2014, a Loyola student was fatally shot during an attempted robbery in Rogers Park.

According to a story on ABC 7 Chicago’s website, Mutahir Rauf, 23, was walking with his brother around 7:50 p.m. on Dec. 5 when they were approached by two men in the 1200 block of West Albion. The report said the two male offenders allegedly brandished a handgun and demanded the students’ belongings. Rauf, thinking the gun was fake, tried to reach for the weapon. He was shot in the head and chest.

The Chicago Police Department’s CompStat records show that robberies decreased in 2014 compared to 2013, 2012 and 2011 in District 24, which includes Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. In 2014, there were 95 robberies. This compares to 103 robberies in 2013, 107 robberies in 2012, and 146 robberies in 2011. Meanwhile, there have been 59 robberies up to May 17, 2015.

However, these figures don’t specify the type of robberies. According to statelaws.findlaw.com, an armed robbery is characterized by the following if, during the commission of the crime, the defendant does any of the below:

  • Carries any type of weapon (a firearm or other weapon).
  • Discharges a firearm during the crime.
  • Discharges a firearm that within its proximity causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement or death to another person.

Additionally, robbery of a motor vehicle is a different charge. “If a defendant takes a motor vehicle from another person by using force or by threatening to use imminent force, then he/she has committed what is called ‘vehicular hijacking,’” statelaws.findlaw.com said. Aggravated vehicular hijacking is an escalation of the vehicular hijacking charge and involves the following:

  • The vehicle was taken from someone who was handicapped.
  • The vehicle was taken from someone over age 60.
  • A person under age 16 was a passenger in the vehicle at the time.
  • The defendant carried a firearm or other weapon.
  • A firearm was discharged.
  • The discharged firearm within its proximity caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death to another person.

Steve Christensen, director of communication for Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus, said the Loyola Campus Safety office remains focused on the safety of its Loyola and greater Rogers Park and Edgewater community. Security officers “actively patrol on- and off-campus locations on foot, bicycle and in marked and unmarked squad cars 24 hours a day,” he said.

The university’s Campus Safety office also has worked closely with the Chicago Police Department in the past and continues to do so.

Additionally, the department continues to share crime alert information and safety tips via emails, its website, a student news site, and on the University’s social media.

“We’ve also hosted safety forums on campus, one of which occurred at the end of January and was held in conjunction with CPD,” Christensen said. “Representatives from Campus Safety and CPD were on hand to present and share safety tips and to listen to any community concerns.”

The university also encourages its students to use the Loyola shuttle and 8-RIDE service (8-RIDE runs until 4 a.m. seven days a week when school is in session) when possible. For more information about transportation options, visit LUC.edu/campustransportation.

 


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