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N.C. State Edgy After 2 Robberies, Recent Break-Ins

Posted March 11, 2008
Updated March 12, 2008

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— Police at North Carolina State University are being especially alert after two armed robberies in two days, and they are urging the university community to do the same.

Investigators said one victim, a graduate student, was leaving a building on the Centennial Campus when two men armed with a handgun demanded his wallet late Tuesday afternoon.

Two male students told police they were near 2110 Avent Ferry Road at about 9 p.m.Monday when a man wearing a mask and armed with a knife robbed them.

"It's very concerning, not only to us, but to the campus community," said Capt. Jon Barnwell, with NCSU police.

Police said they did not know if the Tuesday robbery was related to the Monday case, but they were looking at the possibility.

“In light of the recent robbery that we had last night, we don't want this to escalate to a pattern, so we are really aggressively chasing this down,” Barnwell said Tuesday.

The robber Monday fled in a red sport utility vehicle, possible an early 2000s model Ford Explorer.

There have also been several recent break-ins at campus-area apartment complexes. The Avent Ferry Complex had as many as five robberies last week.

Natasha Herting, who is running for student body president, said burglars broke into her College Inn apartment while she and her roommates were sleeping.

"It was really scary just to think that you have no control – that someone could be in your apartment and you have four girls alone,” she said.

N.C. State students with whom WRAL spoke said the recent rash of crimes has them on alert.

“I'm thinking whether I’m safe walking down to my lab or not,” Devesh Diwari said.

“Yeah, it’s definitely alarming. Definitely walk in groups, that's what I would say,” Zach Fitzgerald said.

Authorities said Wednesday that there was no connection between the robbery near Centennial Parkway and a Tuesday night robbery at a Handy Hugo's convenience store at 6922 Buffaloe Road.

N.C. State sent out e-mails to staff, facility and students about the recent crimes and offered crime prevention tips.

The campus police also said they are on heightened patrol in wake of the recent incidents. Police asked anyone with information that could help in the investigations to call 919-515-2498.

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  • Mr. Middle of the Road Mar 12, 2008

    nutheropinion, no offense taken, but thanks for the apology. I guess there is no easy answer to the problem. I don't want to like of the students on campus living in fear but I don't want to live in a police state either. I think so far we strike a happy medium. I have been the victim of crime and it is far from pleasant, but there are 30,000 people on the State campus and crimes like this are really rare there. So the odds of it happening are fairly great. Plus the guy lost some material things and had a pretty good scare, but he wasn't hurt. I don't think we should over react. And,I will always support the right to defend yourself.

  • 215born910raised Mar 12, 2008

    I hope they get a handle on that. And not just NCSU because this type of activity is happening at EVERY COLLEGE in the triangle.

  • nutheropinion Mar 12, 2008

    jtar63,

    Bravo. I wish I had your eloquence. Does everyone realize that the police mostly investigate crimes that have already been committed? They can't arrest you if you haven't done anything yet. That doesn't help the poor SOB getting robbed or shot.

  • jtar63 Mar 12, 2008

    As long as there are unarmed victim zones these type of crimes will continue. Only by allowing people to defend themselves, wherever they are, will the criminals begin to feel the dangers that they create. While not everyone should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon, I feel that those who are willing to take a class and be tested on their proficiency with their weapon, should be granted a concealed carry permit and allowed to carry on any campus, after passing an appropriate background check. As for those who would have you believe the students would be shooting each other over silly things; they are mature enough to try to better their life by continuing their education so we know they aren't stupid. If we can trust them to manage their own life shouldn't we give them the ability to defend their own life as well? When SECONDS count the police are only MINUTES away!

  • Dr. Dataclerk Mar 12, 2008

    I think its time for colleges to hired some under-cover officers who can pose as students (male or female). Something is going to have to been done for the safety of the students. Anyone that is not a student surely do not belong on the campus.
    So, what do you all think about under-cops posing as students. I am against anyone carry a gun. We need trained cops here.

  • WHEEL Mar 12, 2008

    Capt Barnwell "we dont want this escallating to a pattern" If your but is getting robbed what do you care about a pattern.

  • nutheropinion Mar 12, 2008

    Mr Middle of the road,

    I have to correct a statement I made. I meant to say " I don't think I would be OK with just anyone carrying a weapon on campus. " I am comfortable with very qualified people carrying on campus, certainly the police, maybe me :-)but not some very stressed out 18-year old with no training or experience.

  • nutheropinion Mar 12, 2008

    Mr Middle of the road.

    That was very well stated, actually. I expected less, so I apologize. For what it's worth I tend to agree with you to a point. I am licensed and trained to carry a conceled weapon, and have been for many years. I have never carried a weapon, however. I don't think I would be OK with anyone carrying a weapon on campus. Certainly, this would just make the foreign students a preferred target (I assume the Second Ammendment doesn't apply to them). There are other issues, but I think they are well stated already. I do believe, however that complete disarmament of the campus is stupid as well. If society is uncomfortable with armed students on campus, then it is the responsability of society (government) to provide a sufficent police presence on campus to serve as a deterrent to criminals. If you can't do that, then I need to be able to protect myself. Agree?

  • TheWayISeeIt Mar 12, 2008

    Something isn't right around here (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill). Are these copycat crimes, or is it honestly gang initiation time?

    I'd feel much more informed if whatever local gang units we have to protect us could give a brief statement, signs or colors to look out for, activities considered "initiation-related". As a single woman on a college campus I just don't feel safe right now.

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Mar 12, 2008

    I am suggesting that talking big about defending yourself against an armed assailant is pretty much whistling in the dark. The pinheads that rob you usually have surprise on their side so you won't really have much chance to draw your sword. And thinking letting everyone go around armed will deter these guys is naive. A determined bad guy will just adjust his attack to reflect the fact that he expects you to be armed as well. These are just isolated incidents, hardly a trend. There will be beefed up security on campus now and the robbers will look for somewhere else where security is not so good to strike.

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