The University Police have caught the man they believe is responsible for the robbery of a Yale student late Wednesday night, Yale Police Department Chief James Perrotti said Thursday.
Perrotti said the YPD arrested Adam Tisdale, a 39-year-old New Haven resident, after he allegedly stole the purse of a female student on the corner of College and Elm streets Wednesday. The robbery, which Perrotti said occurred at approximately 11:45 p.m., was the latest in a series of purse snatchings reported in downtown New Haven.
“We responded to a report of a purse snatch and after investigation were able to apprehend [Tisdale] in the area of College and Wall,” Perrotti said.
Tisdale could not be reached for comment Thursday night.
A day before Wednesday’s arrest, the New Haven Police Department issued an alert to residents of the East Rock neighborhood informing them of a series of purse snatchings that have occurred in the area bound by Whitney Avenue and State, Willow and Trumbull streets.
The NHPD alert said the department believes the robberies were committed by the same individual, who they describe as a black male approximately 5’9″ to 6′ tall, thinly built and between the ages of 17-25. The suspect often wears a gray or black hooded sweatshirt and might drive a white or light silver compact car with a spoiler on the rear of the trunk, the alert said.
Perrotti said that while no substantial evidence has yet been found linking Tisdale to the previous robberies, he remains under NHPD investigation.
“We’re not sure what involvement he has to the other incidents in New Haven,” Perrotti said.
Yale Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith said she commended the YPD for a rapid response to the robbery. She said the quick arrest, made by a YPD officer on a walking patrol, was possible because of increased police presence around campus.
“We are very pleased that this occurred so quickly,” Highsmith said. “We had an officer right there who recognized [Tisdale] from the description given.”
Last fall, following a series of high-profile muggings of Yale students in the evening hours, the YPD announced plans to increase the number of night walking patrols in areas surrounding campus.
Despite the latest incident, Highsmith said the University has no plans to increase the number of officers on walking patrols beyond current levels.
“Our plans are to continue at the level we have,” she said. “If the situation is to change drastically, we’ll redeploy accordingly.”
University and police officials urged students walking at night to make use of University-provided security-services, such as the 2-WALK program and the Minibus. Following last fall’s increase in robberies, both programs underwent significant changes meant to make the services more responsive and user-friendly.
“There are a lot of escort services and transport services that [students] can take advantage of,” Perrotti said. “That’s by far the best thing that students can do to protect themselves. With the changes, they’re far more timely [than before].”
The use of Yale’s escort services has more than quadrupled since last August. In an effort to lower wait times for students, the University created a combined escort and busing service, as well as a “Blue Line” that transports students between residential colleges and off-campus neighborhoods around Edgewood Avenue and Lynwood Place.