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DePaul University says it will boost security after string of robberies on campus

DePaul University says it will boost security after string of robberies on campus
DePaul University says it will boost security after string of robberies on campus 02:26

CHICAGO (CBS) – Once again, multiple DePaul University students were robbed at gunpoint over the weekend.

One of the victims was hit in the head with a gun and forced to seek medical attention. Students have been targets three weekends in a row.

CBS 2's Tara Molina had more on safety and security plans following continued crime sprees and how university officials said they're serious about security.

Officials said they're increasing the university's public security presence across campus. Students who spoke to CBS 2 said they hope that means more security and police walking the campus.

"It just kinda makes me scared when I'm walking home by myself," said student Jasmine Quach.

There were uneasy feelings on DePaul University's campus on Monday after robberies targeting five students over the weekend.

"It's a scary thing," said Dominic Mongelli.

One of the victims was recovering after being hit in the head with a gun by one of the men who robbed her. Robberies have been reported the last three weekends. It's not the first time robbery crews have been violent with students at DePaul.

Last weekend, students were punched in the face and pepper sprayed by the men robbing them. Chicago police didn't say if they believe the same crew is behind the string of robberies but did say they're still investigating.

"Public safety on campus, they're doing everything they can," said Mongelli.

University officials weren't available for interviews, but CBS 2 found they've shared six public safety alerts on robberies since June.

"I think there's been more than usual this year," said student Maria Summers.

The university posted a letter on Sunday detailing the robberies and sharing safety resources like the school's safety escort service and promised: "DePaul will increase its public safety presence on both campuses with additional security officers." It is also increasing the number of security vehicles to patrol the Lincoln Park campus during overnight hours.

The school also said Chicago police are "increasing patrols around campus."

Students told CBS 2 they look forward to seeing the increased public safety presence promised.

"Someone just walking around would be nice," Quach said.

CBS 2 examined data showing that robberies in Lincoln Park this year have already reached the number of robberies last year, which was the highest total recorded in more than five years.

In a letter, Ald. Timmy Knudsen (43rd) called on Mayor Brandon Johnson and soon-to-be confirmed Police Supt. Larry Snelling to properly staff police districts and beats in his ward.

On Monday, DePaul announced new policies to enhance safety on campus, including requiring students to have their school identification on them at all times on both the Loop and Lincoln Park campuses to make sure only "university community members" are inside DePaul buildings. A public safety officer may request to see a student's ID at any time.

Students will also need their university ID or register as an authorized visitor to access floors above the DePaul Center in the Loop. They'll need their school ID or a government-issued ID to access the Richardson Library on the Loop campus.

DePaul also said it working with rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber to create a subsidized rideshare program for DePaul students. 

Other measures included expanding its safety escort service, upgrading lights at a campus parking garage and along El tracks

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