University of Oregon students on high alert after string of robb - KPTV - FOX 12

University of Oregon students on high alert after string of robberies in Eugene

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(Eugene Police Department) (Eugene Police Department)
(Eugene Police Department) (Eugene Police Department)

Students at the University of Oregon are on high alert.

The Eugene Police Department’s spokesperson, Melinda McLaughlin, says there has been eight robberies in Eugene in two weeks and several of those happened just a block or two from campus.

In all of these instances, expect for one, police say the suspects have been armed.

While Eugene police officers are working on solving the crimes, campus police are taking extra steps to make sure students feel safe. They’ve increased vehicles, capacity, routes, and hours for their programs like Safe Ride and the UO Campus Shuttle. 

The party buses they run are designed to be fun and encourage students to never walk alone.

With the rash of robberies, the university doubled their vans and went from picking up 200 people, to 1,000 this past weekend.

“One of the reasons our ridership has increased so astronomically in one weekend, was because how dark our streets are at night. And how scared people are to walk off campus, and how late people are staying up during dead week and finals week,” said Kylan Carlson, the UO Campus Shuttle Coordinator.

One student was riding Friday afternoon who said it was her first time using the school’s safety resources.

“If it’s safer and all of my friends seemed pretty concerned about getting home, then maybe I should, even if I’m a person that wouldn’t normally do that,” said Leah Cave, a junior at UO.

The University of Oregon’s campus police chief, Matt Carmichael, says crimes like these are usually rare here.

“A little shaken up. A little shaken up…We live, like, literally down the street on Hilyard,” said UO Junior Louka Moutarlier.

Hilyard Street is where four of the hold-ups have happened. One student tells police she was ambushed on Hilyard and East 16th Avenue on March 3. 

Police say she told them she was walking alone when a man grabbed her from behind, then threatened her with a gun. Police say she was robbed.

Another armed robbery happened on Hilyard Street at the Neighborhood Market the night before.

As if students need anything but finals on their minds right now, these robberies have people wondering when the suspects will strike again.

“Even with these clear, warmer nights people are still scared to walk alone, or scared to walk at all really,” said Carlson.

Eugene police urge people to report crimes like this immediately. One student who was robbed Sunday morning, waited until Tuesday to report it.

Officers say they want to get out there as soon as possible so they can start looking for those suspects.

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