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A Pierson College student was mugged at gunpoint outside the Bank of America ATM on Broadway at 6:30 p.m. Monday night, the fifth robbery of a member of the Yale community in the past week.
Pierson Dean Amerigo Fabbri said in an e-mail that the student mugged at Bank of America was unharmed, but Fabbri was unavailable for further comment Tuesday night. No arrests have been made in any of the five robberies involving the Yale community, University officials said Tuesday.
The robberies this past week are the first such muggings involving Yale students to take place in areas surrounding campus since mid-December, but some students said they are concerned that last fall’s purported upswing in crime may not have subsided.
Yale Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith said both the Yale and New Haven police departments are investigating the robberies, which were announced to the Yale community Tuesday evening in an e-mail from Yale Police Department Chief James Perrotti.
“We have increased police presence and security services over the past several months,” Perrotti said. “Those efforts seem to have helped reduce crime, but they have not eliminated it.”
The other robberies occurred during the weekend, Perrotti said. Sunday night, a faculty member was mugged at approximately 10 p.m. near the intersection of Temple and Wall streets, Highsmith said. Two of the other robberies occurred on Orange Street near Bishop Street, and one took place on Dwight Street near Elm Street. Although Highsmith said she was not familiar with the details of the other incidents, she said they all involved members of the Yale community.
In his e-mail, Perrotti said both the YPD and the NHPD will be adjusting their patrols in light of the incidents, but he did not elaborate on the specific changes being made.
“We had police officers in the vicinity last night, but unfortunately they were not in the exact spot where the robberies occurred,” he said. “We are continuing our walking patrols and will also have patrols in unmarked cars in these areas. New Haven will be adjusting its patrols in these areas around campus.”
Highsmith said the incidents do not appear to be connected.
“There is no evidence currently to suggest a link between the robberies,” she said. “As far as we know, this is a coincidence.”
Students said they think security measures on and around campus have improved since the beginning of the fall semester.
“I live in Silliman, and almost always late at night there’s a policeman posted somewhere near Wall Street, so when I’m walking home it’s very comforting for me,” Andrew Beaty ’07 said.
But some students said they do not feel any safer than they did when they arrived in New Haven last summer. Colin O’Brady ’06, who lives on Lynwood Place, said he has noticed more police patrols in his area and feels safe on the Yale campus, but he said he does not think effective security extends beyond the campus’ boundaries.
“I think that there have been improvements, but I still don’t feel very safe, especially having my girlfriend walk over at night,” O’Brady said.
Despite some students’ fears that the latest incidents might be the beginning of another crime wave, Highsmith said she does not believe such concerns are justified. She said the measures put in place by the University last fall will continue to be effective in stopping crime.
“This is the first crime we’ve experienced since the middle of December, so I don’t think this is a sign that the measures aren’t working, but that we should continue what we are doing and not get complacent,” Highsmith said.
In response to the street crimes of the past months, the YPD has added new blue phones and police patrols. Highsmith said the YPD has also encouraged students to use campus escort services at night.