The Collegian
Saturday, September 26, 2020

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Current monthly positivity rate

UPDATE: Armed robbery suspect sought marijuana from students, police say

<p>Marked and unmarked University Police cars were parked outside of the 470 block of the University Forest Apartments&nbsp;on Saturday, Aug. 25, after a UR alert reported an armed robbery there.&nbsp;</p>

Marked and unmarked University Police cars were parked outside of the 470 block of the University Forest Apartments on Saturday, Aug. 25, after a UR alert reported an armed robbery there. 

Editor's note: The Collegian does not name victims of crimes.

This story was updated on Sunday, Aug. 26 to include a description of the suspect and information about the ongoing investigation. 

A person of interest in a reported armed robbery Saturday night was seen on campus asking students where to buy marijuana prior to the incident that night, University Police said in a Timely Warning email sent to students Sunday morning.

The suspect is "a young, African-American male, approximately 5 feet, 11 inches tall, between 170 and 190 pounds, with a dark complexion who looks to be between the ages of 18 and 24 years of age," according to the email.

The man also has "dreadlocks pulled into a ponytail and light facial hair," according to the email. 

Police hope to find footage of the suspect on security cameras, University of Richmond Police Chief David McCoy said.

Police do not know how long the person of interest was on campus, McCoy said. 

Identifying the suspect, finding him and making an arrest is the conclusion police are hoping for, McCoy said. 

Original story: 

During a pre-arranged drug deal to buy marijuana, a female student was a victim of an armed robbery in the 470 block of the University Forest Apartments Saturday night, University Police said. 

There were no reported injuries, McCoy said.

The suspect is a male who is believed to be unaffiliated with the university community, McCoy said. 

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The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made, McCoy said. The suspect is no longer believed to be in the area, he added.

The victim called URPD sometime after the suspect flashed what appeared to be a handgun in his waistband, stole drugs and left, McCoy said. 

"It was not a random act," McCoy said. 

At 11:14 p.m., a UR alert warned students of an armed robbery reported at the 470 block, formerly the 1800 block. 

A second UR alert sent at 1:17 a.m. Sunday said that it was safe to return to normal activity and that police would increase patrols throughout the night.

The victim was home alone, two other residents of the apartment said. The two were not home at the time of the incident, but the victim texted them when it happened to say it was their apartment, the two residents said. 

The victim also said in the text that she was okay and talking with police, the two residents said.

The fourth resident of the apartment was not on campus, they said.

The two residents were not immediately allowed to return to their apartment, they said. Police also did not give them any further information about the situation, they said.

The alert warned students to avoid the area. The subject of the emailed alert noted that a person had a gun.

On the night of upperclassmen move-in day, at least one party was also happening in the 470 block. Half an hour later, dozens of people were milling outside the block and nearby. Police were also present, but did not order students inside.

Aaron D'Oleo, senior, lives in the 470 block but was at another apartment when he got the alert.

"We heard 470 block and we were like ... that's our apartments obviously, and so we ran over," he said.

Page Soper, senior, also lives in the 470 block. The police came to another nearby door before going to the apartment where the robbery happened, Soper said. They did not come to her door, she said.

One of the apartment residents said that they were more worried about the safety of their apartmentmate than their possessions in the apartment.

"Unfortunately, weed is still illegal," McCoy said. "It's a commodity. People think it's harmless. Here's an example where it's a little bit dangerous for those involved."

This is the first armed robbery that McCoy has seen on campus in the seven years that he's been at the university, he said.

"It was clearly a preventable act," McCoy said. "It should have never occurred."

Contact editor-in-chief Ashlee Korlach at ashlee.korlach@richmond.edu and news editor Julia Raimondi at julia.raimondi@richmond.edu. 

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