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This item originally appeared in the November 11, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.

By BRIAN TYNES

Staff Writer

University police arrested Robert D. Wilkerson, a senior architecture major from Harvey, La., in connection with an armed robbery outside Neilson Residence Hall on Oct. 28.

Wilkerson, 22, was arrested Nov. 3 at the Tech police station.

"The armed robbery is continuing to be investigated by Tech police, and our office developed sufficient probable cause for Wilkerson," Tech Police Chief Stephen Quinnelly said.

Quinnelly said one suspect has been detained, but police continue to search for another.

"In the armed robbery, there are two suspects," Quinnelly said. "We have developed probable cause [for one suspect] , and through our continued investigation, we hope to track down the second suspect."

Quinnelly said he could not comment on how the information that led to Wilkerson's arrest was obtained, nor if there are any leads in tracking down the second suspect because of pending investigation.

Quinnelly said Wilkerson was apprehended in his room in Neilson and brought back to South Hall where the arrest was made. "He did not resist arrest," Quinnelly said.

Wilkerson is being held at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center on two counts of armed robbery with bond set at $75,000, Quinnelly said.

If convicted, Wilkerson could face anywhere from 10 to 99 years in prison without parole for each of the two counts, the chief said.

Quinnelly said this incident should give students assurance that university police are working to keep the campus protected.

"The Tech Police Department is completely dedicated to making Tech as safe as possible," Quinnelly said. "The students can be confident that we will actively investigate crimes."

Quinnelly also said he hopes the Crime Stoppers feature will be utilized more.

"We encourage students to help us by using Crime Stoppers," Quinnelly said. "The university is safe, but we are not immune to crime."

Despite a serious crime, students are still comfortable with Tech's security.

Wimbley Morrison, a sophomore computer science major, said Tech is a safe campus because of the police's presence.

"Most of the time the police are around, and they have cameras virtually everywhere, and that makes me feel pretty safe," Morrison said.

He also said he would like to see students get more involved with campus safety.

Morrison said the only thing he thinks could improve would be if the campus "could have a neighborhood watch program with students."

Amanda Malbrough, a junior biology major, said campus safety benefits from a secure community.

"I think the city is safe," Malbrough said. "I haven't had a problem with [security on campus]. It could probably be better, but they have call boxes and patrols all around."

Malbrough said campus could be safer "if there were more people here at night and on the weekends."


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