New safety measures in effect at Washington University after rash of robberies

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ST. LOUIS – Washington University put new measures into effect Saturday after a recent rash of armed robberies in surrounding areas.

Within two days last week, four Washington University students were robbed at gunpoint in the same areas in similar scenarios.

“For a student, we want to go home after 9 p.m. because it’s so dangerous for us,” said Kimberly Jin, a Washington University student.

“My brother was telling me that there are some parts of St. Louis that are not safe so be careful, but to see them happen one after the another was startling,” said Marissa Nwoke.

Saturday, a few initiatives got off the ground in hopes to help students feel safe and avoid them from standing idol as they move around the area.

The “Campus2home” shuttle now runs every 15 minutes instead of 30, and the north campus shuttle now runs up until ten at night rather than six.

“I’m scared by these things. All of the students are talking about it,” Jin said.

“Everyone is scared. Especially the international students because we’re not used to this type of crime.”

In a letter to students and staff from Chancellor Andrew Martin, students were made aware of new initiatives the school was implementing and gave the advice to keep them safe in situations.

“I’m definitely more cognizant about my surroundings,” said Nwoke.

“In one of the emails, they were saying don’t sit in the car for long periods of time and usually I do that a lot.”

The chancellor also assured students Washington University Police would be available to escort them from surrounding neighborhoods between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m.

The students said they appreciate the transparency and alerts they’ve received about what’s happening.

“I think it makes sense that they’re telling us everything that’s happening and everything that they’re doing.

“It definitely seems that they’re doing everything in their power to make sure all the students are safe,” said Nwoke.

In the release sent to students, the chancellor said students can call WUPD at 314-935-5555 to request to be escorted.

St. Louis Metro Police are investigating the robberies.

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