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3 University of Chicago students robbed in Hyde Park

University of Chicago issues campus alert after 3 students robbed in Hyde Park
University of Chicago issues campus alert after 3 students robbed in Hyde Park 02:53

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The University of Chicago issued a campuswide security alert, after three students were robbed at gunpoint within five minutes on Wednesday.

University police were ramping up patrols, and students said other new resources in place help make them feel a bit better.

Anika Miro-Quesada is a student who has also been a victim of a crime.

"It's just a little scary, because you don't think it's on campus, because normally it does kind of happen off campus," she said. "I got my phone stolen a while ago, and they were very diligent and making sure that I felt safe and felt comfortable on campus."

So far this year there have been 28 robberies in the Hyde Park neighborhood where the university is located, not including the three robberies on Wednesday.

"Students are always walking around with their laptops and other valuables. So I think that's part of it too. You know, they're seen as easy targets," said student Rama Narayanan.

University of Chicago Police said three students were robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight on Wednesday.

The first robbery was at 2:50 p.m. on campus at 56th and University. Police said a student was walking when four people with guns approached, and robbed him of his belongings, then drove off in a black Infiniti. A second student walking across the street was also robbed.

Five minutes later and three blocks away, another student was robbed near 56th and Dorchester.

Police said it was the same scenario, but only two gunmen.

Mike Boyman, an event manager at the university's Rockefeller Chapel, said he generally feels safe on campus.

"Whenever something like this happens, there's certainly an increased security presence to respond to it," he said. "There are situations where you're walking along the street, and you're targeted, and you've got three or four armed guys just kind of surrounding you. I'm not sure what you're going to do."

To ease the fear, the university offers safety escorts, shuttles, late-night parking, and Lyft programs for undergraduate students.

  • Safety Escorts: Any students or employees who feel unsafe while in the University of Chicago Police patrol area can call 773-702-8181 to be escorted to their destination.
  • UGo Shuttles: Free shuttle buses operate day and night on and around the university campus. Passengers need a university ID to board.
  • Lyft Ride Smart: The university offers students 7 free Lyft rides per month (for up to $10 per ride) between 5 p.m. and 4 a.m. seven days a week. Rides must start and end within the campus service area, covering parts of Hyde Park, Kenwood, and Woodlawn.
  • Late-night Parking: Students and employees can use their UChicago ID to park for free between 5:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. at the Campus North (Ellis) Garage at 5505 S. Ellis Avenue, or the Kimbark South Garage at 6021 S. Kimbark Avenue.

"The Lyft program is my favorite, just because I feel like it's a preventative measure. It keeps us off the streets. One of our main ones is the blue light [emergency phone] system, just because you're able to easily, like, when your phone gets stolen, go to the blue light," Miro-Quesada said.

In addition to increased security and resources from the university, they've also requested additional units from Chicago police to patrol near campus.

No one was in custody in the robberies as of Thursday afternoon.

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