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Campus police step up patrols, offer safety advice

News Release — 25 November 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contact: Kristin Sullivan, (817) 272-5364, kristinsul@uta.edu

ARLINGTON - UT Arlington police are stepping up foot and bicycle patrols in and near campus housing communities in response to recent reports of cell phone robberies on and near campus.

In each of the incidents, pedestrians have been hailed or approached by a stranger who asks for the victim's cell phone. In several cases, the victim has been assaulted as the suspect takes the victim's cell phone.

"We are doing everything we can to stop these individuals from committing more crimes on campus," said Ricardo Gomez, UT Arlington assistant police chief. "We are supplementing our regular patrol with extra foot and bicycle officers. And we are trying to educate our community and provide tips that can lessen the chance that someone will become a crime victim."

Gomez urged students, faculty and staff to be alert to their surroundings when outdoors and to avoid walking alone at night.

In addition, police say:

  • Do not approach a vehicle if a stranger calls out to you.
  • Walk in the opposite direction that the vehicle is traveling or create distance between yourself and any stranger on foot.
  • Note a description of the vehicle, particularly a license plate number.
  • Call police as soon as possible at 817-272-3381 (main) or 817-272-3003 (emergency). Campus police maintain the network of blue and white emergency assistance call boxes across campus that directly connect police with the user and pinpoint the caller's location.
  • Students, faculty and staff may request a personal security escort 24 hours a day by calling 817-272-3381.

Anyone with information about the incidents should call campus police at 817-272-3381.

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