Temple students take hard look at safety

PHILADELPHIA - December 2, 2011 Philadelphia Police released surveillance photos of two men they say are responsible for a rash of robberies. The images were captured by a surveillance camera near Temple University.

They are believed to be the gun wielding bandits who went on a rampage Wednesday night staging a number of holdups in just over an hour, among the victims, a Temple University student who asked to remain anonymous.

"I noticed they were kind of shady looking, and didn't really think much of it. I just came back from hockey. I was tired, and wasn't really paying attention," said the victim.

He says before he knew it, one of them shoved him up against the wall and pointed a gun at him demanding money.

"I told him I didn't have any, and I guess he identified me as a Temple Student, insisted that I had money, kept asking me where it was at," he said.

"It's just, it's scary," he said.

Authorities say in just over an hour, from 7:45 to 8:55, the bandits would stage five holdups, four of them students, all within several blocks of the main campus. Police say, even for North Philadelphia, that's pretty remarkable.

"It's all in one day, all within the span of an hour. It's very unusual that something like this would happen, that many robberies, in that short of time span," said Lt. Patrick Doherty.

But as University Students continue to find housing off campus and further into North Philadelphia, students, many of them from outside the city who've never been exposed to crime, are reporting that they find themselves being victimized.

Senior Alissa Rose says she was recently robbed at gunpoint while walking near Temple's athletic fields.

"It was scary, I've never had a gun in my face before, and it was 10:30pm at night, it's not as if it was late or anything, I was with another girl," said Alissa.

There are many other students living off campus with stories like this Alissa's.

"I live two blocks off campus, and I've gotten robbed," said Ryan Besket. "Thanksgiving, all my roommates went home. We came back everything was missing."

Students say Temple does a good job of sending out email warnings about incidents of crime, but some believe that as student housing expands further off campus, Temple Police patrol may need to be expanded as well.

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