Robbery Rampant at Florida A&M

A Florida A&M freshman was almost robbed on his way to All Saints Café Monday night.

The young man, who chose to remain anonymous, was on his way to study and practice on his guitar, when a hooded man who stuck a gun to the left side of his torso frightened him.

The victim fell backwards on the slippery ground, fracturing the neck of his guitar before he got up and ran for his life.

“I was surprised he didn’t chase or shoot after me,” the young man said.

He ran to the nearby café where he reported the incident to the police, and decided to never walk alone at night again.

The incident follows a string of robberies that happened in the areas surrounding FAMU’s campus.

From Friday night to Monday morning, students have received 11 E-2 Campus alerts via text messages from the FAMU Police Department.

Monday night, there were also two armed robberies in Florida State’s Alumni Village. The notification of the robbery was sent out through FSU’s alert system. The suspects were four black males, one which allegedly punched one or more victims.

Although these robberies have not happened on FAMU’s campus, many of the areas are within walking distance for FAMU students. FAMU PD sent out alerts so that students would not be in danger.

Lt. Angela Kirkland from FAMU PD said she does not believe that the incidents are tied to people losing their jobs or a sluggish economy.

“The people that were arrested weren’t employed to begin with,” said Kirkland who has observed that crime tends to pick up when the weather gets warmer

According to Kirkland, FAMU can hear and respond to radio signals from Leon County Sherriff’s Office, the Tallahassee Police Department and FSU PD. When FAMU PD hears signals that may affect students, they attempt to dispatch text messages within five minutes of receiving the information.

“Most of the time, there is a two to three minute delay,” Kirkland said. “But it also depends on the nature of the call.”

Senior biology pre-med student Loren Ellis, 21, said she noticed that the text messages from FAMU PD were becoming more frequent, and she began to forward them to her mother in Dothan, Ala.

“She worries about my safety,” Ellis explained, recalling the advice her mother gave about not going out alone at night or walking alone.

Ellis believes that crime has escalated since she has been on campus.

“It makes me think about how bad things have gotten,” she said. However, Ellis has not given up her expectations that the community will be safer.

“I hope to see a decrease in the amount of crime on campus and in surrounding areas,” Ellis said.

FAMU PD continues to encourage students to walk in groups, stay in well-lit areas and avoid going out alone at night.