Armed robbery at FAU College of Arts and Letters: the second one in 11 months

Kathryn Wohlpart

An armed robbery took place on Oct. 19, in the College of Arts and Letters building on the Boca campus. Photo by Dylan Bouscher.
An armed robbery took place on Oct. 19, in the College of Arts and Letters building on the Boca campus. Photo by Dylan Bouscher.

An armed robber entered the Arts and Letters building late last night and still remains at large the next day. At 11:15 p.m. on Oct. 19, FAU students received emails, texts and calls warning them of an armed robber on the loose, recalling an armed robbery in the same building 11 months ago.

“We determined that [the attacker was armed with a knife] from the victim’s statement,” said Deputy Police Officer Sean Brammer.

The unnamed victim’s statement described the robber as a black male, 20 to 25 years old, approximately six-feet tall, medium build, dressed in black shorts with no shirt and a black bandana.

Students walking on campus early this morning were warned to stay cautious by police officers. However, the officers would not comment on why students needed to take extra care.

Officers drove students back to their dorms and told them to call campus police for a ride if they needed to travel around campus.

The FAU alert is still displayed on all FAU web pages, an email from FAU Police Department was sent  the day after the robbery with tips on staying safe and no information has been recorded on the FAU Alerts Hotline, according to the UP’s investigation.

When asked about the lack of communication from FAU, Deputy Brammer told the UP that the decision to provide more information “will be made as the situation becomes clearer. There will be a press release.”

“When I got the alert I thought, ‘oh no, here we go again.’ But then nothing happened,” said junior communication major Sam Johnson, who was visiting friends on campus when he received the alert.

Unlike last year’s armed robbery in the Arts and Letters building, FAU students were allowed to move freely around campus and there was no lockdown. Last year’s armed robbery took place during the day in the midst of final exams, while more students were on campus. The lockdown on Nov. 29, 2012 took place when an alleged gunman entered the Arts and Letters building, robbed one student and  then was reported as being sighted on various parts of FAU’s Boca campus. This year’s armed robbery took place on a Saturday night during midterms, rendering a lockdown less necessary.

“I didn’t even see any cops around when I got the alert, I assumed they cleared it up. I was waiting for another update because I was leaving my dorm, but I never got one,” said freshman Heritage Park Towers resident Karly Faust.

Deputy Brammer thinks there is no danger.

“We believe campus is secure. If not, further actions would be taken,” said Deputy Brammer. “We are still investigating. We’ve had officers working on it all night.” Because the investigation is still open, Deputy Brammer declined to comment on any further details.

If you have any information pertaining the the case you are urged to call FAU Police Department at 561-297-3500.

[divider type=”thin”]

Florida Atlantic University’s Police Department received a report that an FAU student was the victim of an armed robbery at knifepoint during the evening of Oct. 19 in the Arts & Letters Building  – Building 9 on the Boca Raton campus. The alleged suspect is described as a black male, around 20 to 25 years of age.  He is approximately 6-feet-tall, has a medium build, dark skin, and was dressed in black shorts and no shirt, with a black bandana. The FAU Police Department continues to search for this individual.  Anyone with information is urged to call the FAU PD at 561-297-3500.

The health, safety and welfare of FAU’s faculty, staff and students are of utmost importance. FAU continuously works closely with law enforcement to provide a safe learning environment for the entire University community. Additionally, FAU offers the following safety services and tips:

Services

  • Victim Advocate: The FAU Police Services Department provides victim advocacy services to the University community. You do not need to make a police report to speak with the Victim Advocate, Ashley Strum. Services through this program include referrals to other social agencies, notifications, accompaniment through the criminal justice process, and information regarding your options as the victim of a crime. All services are free and confidential. Visit http://police.fau.edu/victimservices.asp or call 561-297-0500 for further information, or email [email protected].
  • Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.): The FAU Police Services Department offers the R.A.D. program several times throughout the year. This program is a practical self-defense course for women stressing education and prevention tactics that increase a woman’s chances for avoiding or surviving assault or abduction encounters. More information is available at 561-297-3500 or at http://police.fau.edu/rad.asp.
  • Code Blue phones: Code Blue phones are located at various locations throughout the university and may be used for emergencies or if information is needed. These phones are clearly marked and are direct lines to FAU Police Services dispatch.

 Tips

  • Vary your routine; use a different route, different times.
  • Follow a well-lit pathway or roadway.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Watch for suspicious people or activities.
  • Be aware of the locations of all telephones on campus and in parking lots. Use them if you are concerned or feel your safety is in jeopardy.
  • When you enter your vehicle, lock all the doors and turn on your headlights. This will allow you to see anyone outside in the dark.
  • If you are unfamiliar with the parking lot, drive through it and check it first. If you don’t feel safe, go elsewhere and wait for someone else to arrive.
  • Have your keys in your hand so that you don’t have to search for them when you reach your vehicle.
  • Walk to your vehicle in pairs or in a group.
  • When you know you will be returning to your vehicle late at night, try to park in a well-lit area.
  • Before getting into your vehicle, visually inspect the interior for anything suspicious.
  • Report any safety concerns to campus safety or your local police department.
  • Do not offer rides to strangers.
  • Do not prop exterior doors open.

Remember the safety of FAU students, employees and visitors is everyone’s responsibility.

_____________________________________________________________

This message is distributed on behalf of the FAU Police Department