Robberies at Loyola, DePaul prompt safety concerns among college students across Chicago – NBC Chicago | #schoolsaftey

From the University of Illinois Chicago to DePaul University and Loyola University, Chicago has recently seen an uptick in armed robberies on or near college campuses at all different times of the day.

On Saturday, Loyola University Campus Police sent out an alert, advising that three students were robbed outside Marquette Hall before 4 a.m.

Meanwhile, neighbors heard commotion near the UIC campus on Friday afternoon when a woman screamed as she was confronted by multiple people during a mugging. Surveillance video obtained by NBC Chicago showed her grab the attackers in broad daylight, then neighbors rush in as the suspects try to get away.

“It made me really upset that it happened around this area,” said Alejandro Ortega.

Ortega works across the street from where the mugging occurred. He wasn’t there when the attack happened, but arrived shortly after to see police on the scene.

“I don’t feel comfortable going around where I live,” he said. “I live in Back of the Yards and you feel kind of safer around here, but to see that kind of stuff happen here as well, it’s almost like you’re not safe anywhere.”

Over on the city’s North Side, at least four robberies were reported on the campus of DePaul University between Sept. 9 and Sunday.

Some students explained they are taking extra steps to stay safe.

“Generally I just keep very vigilant of who’s walking around me at night,” said Shokie Seumah, a senior at DePaul University.

Others are taking precautions, too, and vowing to remain aware of their surroundings.

“I don’t try to go home from school late at night and if it feels like it’s a little more empty I’ll take off my headphones,” said DePaul senior, Roman Jones. “I try to keep an eye on what’s going on around me.”

The universities have taken various actions in response to the recent incidents.

DePaul sent a notification to students informing them of additional Chicago Police patrols around campus and increased visibility from school security officers. Similar efforts are being taken to keep students safe at other schools across the city, including Columbia College. There, trained security guards are posted across campus and a safe ride van escort system is available to take students to and from classes, housing and major transit hubs.

College students are encouraged to reach out to their institution to find out what safety measures are in place and to take advantage of what is being offered. Students who talked to NBC Chicago recommend that others stay vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times.

“If it happens you take the steps to report it and hope it wasn’t anything too valuable that you have lost,” Seumah said. “Never carry anything on you that you can’t replace.”

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