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Students On Alert After Several Gunpoint Robberies In University City

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By Elizabeth Hur

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Crime near campus – Students at Drexel University are told to be on alert after several gunpoint robberies.

According to police, four people have been robbed at gun point in the last nine days just off Drexel Campus in University City:

-        8/13: 35th & Spring Garden at 12:20AM

-        8/14: 40th & Lancaster at 11:10PM

-        8/18: 42nd & Baring at 2:30AM

-        8/22: 40th & Powelton at 10:20PM

James Pettit says he witnessed the latest robbery that ended in a shooting Thursday night.

Pettit recalled, “I just saw the male strike the victim in the temple with a handgun.”

The victim had just gotten out of a cab near 40th and Powelton and when confronted, Pettit says, the suspect shot the victim during a struggle.

“That’s when the shooter yanked him off him, took the gun and just shot him twice,” Pettit said.

“He is a student. He goes to Penn State University. He’s got friends in the area who attend Drexel. He was dropping off a vacuum cleaner late at night, not expecting this to happen,” Lt. John Walker went onto say, “We have a young man who is seriously injured, in hospital treatment at this point and obviously shaken from this.”

Drexel and Philadelphia police have increased patrols in the area but they’re asking students and residents to be vigilant at all times.

Lt. Walker said, “It’s early in the semester here so a lot of people are coming in so we just want to make sure the information is out there.”

Drexel University officials, on Friday, reminded students to be aware of their surroundings and issued a public safety advisory which read in part:

“The Philadelphia Police Department has reported a series of robberies that have occurred to the west of the University City campus. None of these incidents involved Drexel affiliates.

Philadelphia and Drexel Police have added additional uniformed and plainclothes officers and are actively investigating these crimes. The Department of Public Safety is recommending appropriate caution when walking in the area, especially off campus in the evening hours.

Report suspicious activity immediately by calling the Philadelphia Police Department at 911 or Drexel Police at 215-895-2222.”

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