The San Diego Police Department is investigating a string of at least six street and residential robberies in the college area near San Diego State University (SDSU) since Jan. 20.
“We ask that people just really stay alert,” said SDPD Lt. Scott Wahl. “Stop texting on phones while walking, and pay attention. They’re focusing on kids talking on their phones and not paying attention to their surroundings.”
The robberies usually involve two or three young men in their 20s, armed with at least one hand gun. The suspects gang up on unsuspecting individuals who are on their phones while walking, said Wahl.
“To be clear, none of the robberies have occurred on the SDSU campus,” said SDSU Police Lt. Greg Noll. “They are either just outside our perimeter or in the residential areas.”
According to Wahl, the cases also involved residential parties, where the robbers go into rooms when no one is around. The owners do not even realize things are missing until the next morning.
While there have been at least six robberies in the college area reported to SDPD, police said they are investigating to see whether there are more that are related.
“Over the weekend is when a lot of students get together, so we just want them to be cautious,” said Noll. “Be careful what you post on social media because anyone can see when you go out.”
SDPD recommends not using cell phones while walking, not letting strangers into homes, to travel in groups with trusted people, and keep valuables secure.
SDSU has over 170 emergency phones which connect directly to the SDSU police department, and a mobile application called Aztec Shield, which also allows individuals to contact the SDSU police or request safety escorts.
“We have to catch these guys, they’re bad dudes,” Wahl said.
Anyone with information on the crimes should contact SDPD at (619)531-2000.