Local News

Student safety a top concern following armed robbery at Duke

Posted January 27, 2016

— Duke University administrators said they are frustrated by a series of armed robberies involving students in or around campus.

The most recent was Monday, when a student was robbed less than a mile from the Chapel.

According to campus police, two people flashed handguns, took some items from the student and left the scene in a red truck or SUV. The incident happened at about 1 a.m.

When the crime alert came across Molly Howard's phone, she was not surprised.

"Unfortunately, you get used to getting Duke alerts like that," she said. "It's a little weird to hear about it happening on west campus. Usually, you hear more about it on central campus."

Monday's incident was the third armed robbery involving Duke students since July. In recent years, Duke has tripled the number of security guards on its campuses.

Duke student Alex Bressler said he is very appreciative of the added efforts.

"I have noticed that campus has stepped up security," he said. "We have guards at both bus stops, and they are there all the time."

According to Kyle Cavanaugh, Duke's vice president for administration, the university has invested in numerous safety initiatives, including door access systems, lights, cameras and communication tools.

"The increase in crime across the city, which finds its way on campus, remains both a frustration and an ongoing concern," he said in a statement.


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  • Janet Ghumri Jan 28, 2016
    user avatar

    Unfortunately a 'gun-free' Zone, translates into a 'victim-rich' environment for would -be criminals. The law abiding citizens are even more vulnerable, since the criminals know that they have the upper hand from the get go. There's less risk for the criminals, and the element of surprise plays into the fear.
    It seems like we are seeing more of this instead of less. I'm not saying that all the students need to be armed, but there is no way to have enough officers on duty to thwart these crimes.

  • Sean Creasy Jan 28, 2016
    user avatar

    Oh no!! Not a robbery in a gun free zone!!! What were these criminals thinking? Didn't they see the signs?