Thursday, April 19

UCPD investigates fourth reported robbery in last two months

University police are investigating a report of an armed robbery on Veteran Avenue early Monday morning.

At about 12:05 a.m., a student was walking north on Veteran Avenue when a man came up from behind and held a nickel-plated handgun to his back and demanded the student hand over his property, said Nancy Greenstein, a spokeswoman for UCPD. The student then gave the man his wallet and cellphone because he feared being shot, Greenstein said.

The man fled on foot and was spotted on Montana Avenue by other pedestrians in the area after the robbery took place, she added.

No injuries were reported, according to a UCPD report released Monday.

Monday’s incident marks the fourth reported robbery around UCLA within the past two months. Early last month, two UCLA students were reportedly robbed at gunpoint, one on the Hill and one in Westwood. Another robbery in which a UCLA student was slapped in the face, was reported nearly two weeks later.

UCPD adjusts their patrolling patterns based on the crimes that are reported, Greenstein said.

“We want to catch the suspect, and we also look toward the community to prevent becoming victims,” she added.

Greenstein said she thinks college students’ dependence on technology can make them distracted and less aware of their surroundings, leaving them vulnerable to possible robberies.

“(Robbers) come to UCLA because they are opportunists and are aware that students are walking around with headphones in and are talking on their cellphones,” Greenstein said.

She added that robbers tend to go where they can easily access popular electronics that can be resold, items that college students constantly use, Greenstein said. So criminals see college students as a vulnerable population, she said.

Greenstein said she encourages students to use the UCPD’s free walking escort service and to stay with friends when out at night. When confronted by a robber, police have said students should comply with any demands the robber makes and get a detailed description of the robber to provide as much information as possible to help find them.

The man connected with Monday’s robbery was described in the report as black, approximately 20 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, 170 pounds, with a light beard. He was described as wearing a dark beanie, dark jacket and dark pants at the time of the incident, according to the report.

Anyone with information about the robberies can contact UCPD at (310) 825-1491.

Compiled by Sam Focht, Bruin contributor.

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