String of armed robberies near Wayne State has students on edge

In the last two weeks, Wayne State has been the site of a string of robberies. The recent spike in crime has students on edge about their own safety.

"Hearing this happening, like a stones throw away from my living room is actually crazy and worries me," said Emmanuel Adeniji.

While there was a pair of purse snatchings last week that raised eyebrows, two armed robberies near the campus has heightened alarm among students. The first incident happened in front of 667 West Handcock around midnight on Wednesday. According to the university, two men in a black sedan approached a 38-year-old researcher and held him at gunpoint.

Shortly after midnight and only 400 feet away, a similar crime happened. Two men also in a black sedan stopped in front of a 20-year-old student as he crossed west Hancock from Second Avenue. They apparently got out of the car, threatened the second victim with a gun and robbed him of his backpack, cellphone, keys, and his wallet.

"My heart just goes out for the victims. I can't imagine losing my backpack with all my notes and my laptop in them. I hope they're able to get back some of the things that were stolen," said Grace O-Neill, another student.

Police investigating the crimes believe the offenders in each instance are the same people.

When it comes to crime, there is a strong relationship between the inequality of a neighborhood and the likelihood that the same neighborhood may experience that crime. While Wayne State is considered an affluent part of Detroit, there are poor areas around the school.

FOX 2 talked to one of the victims of last week's purse snatchings earlier.

"Somebody comes running up behind me, attacked me from the back. As soon as I turned around all I saw was a punch to my face," said the victim.

Since these reports, the crimes have given students a refresher course on situational awareness.

"Keys in the hand, the pepper spray is attached, just kinda being aware," said Ann Mark.

"You always want to be alert. Always know where you're going especially. My dad taught me that from a very young age. Don't walk around on your phone, especially late at night," said Peyton Coleman. "I typically don't even walk around late at night."

"I stay on big roads. I stay on Cass, I stay on 2nd, I stay on Warren. Big roads where the cops patrol all the time pretty much," said Alex Kolcheff.

If you have any information on these crimes, you're asked to get in touch with Wayne State Police.