Robberies around campus

Four Youngstown State University students fell victim to a slew of armed robberies on the city’s north side between Aug. 17-22. Though the crimes occurred off campus, the YSU Police Department has made catching the perpetrators a top priority.
The robberies took place north of campus between on Broadway Street, Norwood Avenue and Alameda Avenue. Many YSU students reside in this area.
According to Youngstown City Police reports, the suspects are two black males around 5 feet 9 inches in height and between the ages of 15 and 20.
John Monroe, the victim of a robbery on Aug. 18, said he had left a friend’s house to check his phone that was charging in his car when two masked men tapped on his window.
“My first thought: ‘what is that thing [the suspect’s gun]?’” Monroe said. “Immediately following that [thought]: ‘Holy shit!’ Hands go up in the air. After that I was on autopilot.”
Monroe said the men proceeded to take the money from his wallet and his car keys. Monroe then contacted the police.
“I ran into the house told everyone I was robbed and called 911,” he said.
Police Chief John Beshara said he hopes to put an end to these robberies.
“I am glad no one’s been hurt yet, physically, and I hope to catch these perpetrators as soon as we can,” Beshara said.
The YSUPD still patrols campus, but has also increased hours of patrol, stopped vehicles for traffic violations and talked to people specifically in the area north of Campus. Beshara deemed this policing method “targeted patrol.”
“Well, we are reacting by putting more man power in that location,” Beshara said. “We want to catch these perpetrators and keep our community safe. That’s our primary goal.”
Both Beshara and Monroe extended safety advice to the YSU community. Beshara urged students to employ environmental awareness.
“Crimes are going to occur,” Beshara said. “I think individuals need to have environmental awareness and live a little more in the moment.”
Beshara said that avoiding distractions like cell phones, mp3 players, and electronics could help students remain aware of their surroundings.  He also urged students to report suspicious behavior to the YSUPD.
Monroe told students to “stay on guard” and to take preventative measures when travelling at night.
“If you are in a vehicle, make sure your doors are locked. …  Travel in groups where the area is well lit,” he said. “Keep defensive means with you.  Mace, stun guns, whatever’s legal.”