April 17, 2008

Suspect Wanted in Local Robberies Caught in D.C.

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Whitley “Cash” Taylor, the alleged ringleader in a string of armed robberies on campus and in Collegetown, was arrested in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. A warrant was issued for Taylor’s arrest on suspicion of first-degree robbery on April 1.
Taylor, 26, is a suspect in three recent armed robberies. He is described as a black male, 6-foot 8-inches tall who weighs 312 pounds.
At around 10:30 p.m. on March 29 at a West Campus fraternity, two acquaintances of one of the students present reportedly pulled out a handgun and robbed the occupants of cash and other items.
On March 25, two victims were robbed of a cell phone and some cash on the 400 block of Stewart Avenue near the Chapter House at about 11:15 p.m. Earlier that night, at about 11 p.m., a non-Cornell student male victim reported that he was robbed inside his apartment.
The robbery suspects in all three incidents were described similarly.
Police arrested one of the suspects, Ithacan Frisco C. Meeks on April 1, and he was charged with multiple counts of robbery.
Although Taylor is believed to be behind these three robberies, there have been many more in the past couple of weeks both on campus and in the surrounding Ithaca area.
Yesterday, members of the Interfraternity Council met with Sergeant Rich Gourley, of the CUPD, who told them that Taylor had been arrested. He also stressed that students should take more precautions, Vice President of Judicial Affairs of the IFC Matt Dubbioso ’09 said.
According to Dubbioso, who noted that the IFC regularly meets with the CUPD, Gourley said that the recent crime wave is still going on and that many of the robberies are a result of “opportunities,” such as unlocked doors and windows.
For example, on Sunday, four Ithaca College students were robbed at gunpoint at the Garden Apartment Building, which was unlocked, The Ithaca Journal reported. The robber took cash and other items.
This is event follows a number of other robberies in the Ithaca community, including a male student who reported an attempted armed robbery at the Suspension Bridge off of Fall Creek Drive on March 31.
On March 12, a 25-year-old man robbed Louie’s Lunch Truck on North Campus at gunpoint. After taking a few hundred dollars in cash, the suspect ran north on Thurston and got into an SUV. The suspect, Shane M. Jacobs, of Hector, N.Y., was later arrested and charged with robbery in the second degree.
The Cornell University Police Department reacted to the higher rate of armed robberies by increasing police patrols and collaboration with other local law-enforcement agencies such as the Ithaca Police Department.