April 12, 2002

Students Attacked, Robbed

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Ithaca Police Department (IPD) and Cornell University Police (CUPD) are currently investigating a report of robbery that occurred near Collegetown which prompted the University to release an alert to the entire community last Wednesday.

Investigators believe that this incident may be related to a previous incident of robbery which occured before Spring Break, according to Linda Grace-Kobas, director of the Cornell News Service.

Last Sunday, a male University student of Asian decent reported that two white males robbed him while tackling and kicking him, then stole his wallet at 4 a.m. along the 100 block of Williams St.

The student further identified that the attackers were approximately 5’7″ and 170 pounds with blonde hair, according to the Wednesday alert.

“One of the perpetrators was wearing a knit cap and the other was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt,” reads further description in the alert.

Although IPD could not comment on any criminal action progressing in the case, Grace-Kobas noted that both agencies are investigating the case and its possible connection to another similar attack reported on March 15.

“Both attacks occured in a small area of Collegetown. [The victim’s] descriptions were very similar to what [the earlier victim reported]. Police think those cases may be related,” Grace-Kobas said.

The earlier incident was reported by a white male who stated that he was also tackled, kicked and his wallet and shoes were stolen in the Cascadilla Hall parking lot between 1:30 and 2 a.m., according to the March 15 crime alert issued in response to the attack.

Grace-Kobas noted that police may think the cases are related because of the close proximity in which the attacks occurred — Williams St. and Cascadilla — and the descriptions of the assailants.

The March 15 victim described the attackers as, “two young adult white males, one with dirty blonde hair and one with dark hair,” according to the crime alert.

“That was very similar,” Grace-Kobas said.

One option investigators may have ruled out, due to the similarity of the crimes, is that this most recent incident is bias-related, according to Grace-Kobas.

“Police have ruled out [a bias related attack]. They think the basic motive was robbery,” she said.

As stated in both alerts, CUPD is advising all members of the Cornell community to make use of Blue Light safety measures and to take precautions when walking at night.

“We are urging people to be careful and not to walk alone at night,” Grace-Kobas said.

Police ask anyone with information regarding both attacks to contact either the CUPD or the IPD as well as report any suspicious or criminal activity seen around campus by dialing 911 or using a Blue Light phone.

“[Police] will be on the look-out for these individuals,” Grace-Kobas said.

Archived article by Carlos Perkins