A University of Wisconsin student was robbed of her cell phone and other belongings last Wednesday while studying in the Memorial Library carrels.
According to a University of Wisconsin Police Department statement, the victim complied with the suspect’s demands and was not harmed. The suspect was described as around 30 years old, 5’8” and 160 pounds, the statement said.
The incident occurred at 10:04 a.m., the statement said.
According to UWPD Lt. Mark Silbernagel, no other specific information has been uncovered and publicly released since the UWPD statement on the day of the robbery.
Property crimes and theft are some of the most common crimes committed across campus, Silbernagel said, though strong armed robberies such as this, when belongings are taken through personal confrontation and physical intimidation, are rare.
Silbernagel said compliance is the best reaction in a situation such as this, as it avoids further violence or retaliation. He said the victim was smart in cooperating with the perpetrator’s demands.
UWPD Sgt. Aaron Chapin said he hopes to find the suspect and take the necessary measures to place him in Dane County jail. Chapin added he is hoping any student with information regarding this specific case will come forth so UWPD is able to apprehend the suspect.
Chapin said he would encourage students to report any crime or suspected crime to help ensure safety, securing evidence and allowing for further investigation. He said his advice is to “be aware of your surroundings.” Staying in public places and paying attention to personal safety are two important precautions, Chapin noted.
Chapin also said he would advise specifically for students not to broadcast their whereabouts on social media sites, especially when the campus reaches a vacation, as it opens the doors to theft. He noted that during school breaks, UWPD sees a noticeable increase in theft across campus.
“We’re in a time of breaks right now and people are very involved in using social media to tell everyone what they’re up to,” Chapin said.
Both Silbernagel and Chapin stressed the importance of proactive preventative measures.
Both officers referenced the SafeU.Wisc.edu website as an excellent source for personal safety tips and news about any sort of crime being investigated across campus and strongly advised all students to visit this website often to keep current knowledge on any sort of threatening situation.