Robbers and Burglars Target West Campus Residents
By Stephanie Witt
Reporting Texas TV
AUSTIN, Texas — Crime is on the rise in West Campus.
The Austin Police Department is investigating a string of five aggravated robberies around The University of Texas at Austin campus, one of which involved a violent home invasion.
Four of the reported cases involved UT students.
On October 8th at 6:30 a.m., APD responded to an armed robbery on San Pedro Street where a UT student woke up with a gun in his face.
“They were in shock and not moving as quickly as the criminals wanted them to,” SafeHorns President Joell Sullivan-McNew said.
“One of them yelled out, ‘you need to do what we say or people are going to start dying.’”
In the past two weeks, Austin Police have also responded to at least six dorms rooms burglarized at UT’s San Jacinto Residence Hall and four burglaries at the off-campus Callaway House apartments. Many freshmen live in these dorms.
“For me at night I won’t go anywhere by myself anymore just because of the things that I have heard and seen,” senior Lila Klein said.
“I know it worries my parents too because I am so far from home and they don’t know what is going on here.”
Police say suspects are targeting women walking home alone at night.
With fewer students living in West Campus due to COVID-19, students question why the crime rates are increasing.
“It is definitely worrisome in times of COVID,” senior Will Bazarsky said.
“People are just staying in their apartments. You would think there wouldn’t be as much going on because people are isolating. But the fact that these numbers are up, that is pretty frightening.”
Austin Police said the suspects in the aggravated robberies drove a dark-colored sedan. They ask for the public’s help with identifying them.
“You just really never know and it is better to be prepared than not be prepared,” Bazarsky said.
In response to these robberies, Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to increase patrols around the UT campus.