Three Yale students were mugged Saturday evening in two separate robberies, one of them at gunpoint.
Shortly after both crimes, Yale and New Haven police arrived at the scenes, identified the suspects nearby, and apprehended three men they believe to be responsible for the muggings, Assistant Chief Ronnell Higgins wrote in an e-mail.
The pair of muggings were the first of the academic year, and Higgins said the Yale Police Department will add patrol officers to the area around Crown Street between York and High, where the crimes occurred.
Seventeen students and local residents who frequent the area said though the streets are usually safe during the day, they become more dangerous at night. Katie Harrison ’13 said she usually feels safe when walking around the site of the first mugging but that she would never walk alone late at night.
The first mugging occurred at 9:33 p.m. when a 49-year-old man, who was arrested later that evening, allegedly approached a student, demanded money and took the student’s cash and credit card. The second mugging happened less than an hour later when two men robbed two other students at gunpoint.
During the robbery, one mugger assaulted one of the students, but did not cause serious injury, according to police. Following both robberies, the students called the police, who quickly caught up with suspects. After a short chase. police arrested a 19- and 20-year-old in connection with the armed robbery and later found a stolen gun, which they believe was used in the robbery, nearby.
For three freshmen, the muggings were a reminder to take care when walking around New Haven after dark, even in areas that may seem safe.
“The proximity to campus is really upsetting,” said Stuart Teal ’14 of Columbia, S.C. He said that most of the research he had done prior to arriving on campus led him to believe that while New Haven is an urban area with a crime rate above the national average, the area around Yale is safer than much of the city. There were 906 robberies in New Haven last year, according to the New Have Police Department website.
Sarah Atkins ’14, of Lexington, Ky., said she was not very surprised by this weekend’s muggings, but that her “parents were really freaked out by their nearness.
Other residents who have been in the city longer said they have gotten used to the occasional robbery, even downtown.
“I’m always a little surprised but never really shocked by this sort of crime in New Haven,” said Jonathan Grauer, an associate professor of orthopaedics and pediatrics, who has lived in New Haven his whole life.
Yale police made eight other arrests over the weekend, including one for theft from a car, one for liquor offenses and two for criminal trespassing.
-Everett Rosenfeld and Baobao Zhang contributed reporting.