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This item originally appeared in the December 9, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.

By RINDY METCALF

Associate Managing Editor

Ruston and Tech police officials continue to seek information about the three men responsible for the armed robbery that occurred Nov. 14 in Caruthers Residence Hall and encourage students to take precautions against violent crimes.

At approximately 10:12 p.m. three black males in their late teens or early 20s entered the residence hall with a semiautomatic pistol, robbed three male students and then fled from the scene on foot.

Aaron Coody, the resident assistant for the first floor of Caruthers and a senior computer information systems major, said on the night of the robbery he was in and out of the building and unaware of the situation at hand.

Coody said, "I had just walked in when I saw [the hall director and another RA] at the door, and they told me what happened."

He also said the police were not able to tell them many of the details, but the RAs are already changing procedures within the residence hall.

"It's a possibility if things don't change we will become an easy target for more crime," Coody said. "If residents keep having the 'It won't happen to me' attitude, then it will. History repeats itself through mistakes made."

Coody said he can sense the uneasiness of some of the residents in Caruthers who no longer feel safe.

"These are my family and friends," Coody said. "How am I supposed to act when they come to me after something like this happens and ask me if their stuff is safe?"

Ruston Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Curtis Hawkins said the on-campus robberies may be linked to the Nov. 21 burglary that occurred at 201 Maple Street.

"The girl who was there, a Tech student, told us she was sitting on a couch and heard a knock at the door," Hawkins said.

"She asked who was there and didn't get a response. When no one answered, she went to unlock the door and opened it. When she opened it, three black males pushed their way in. They grabbed her, tied her hands with duct tape and covered her with blanket."

Hawkins said they rummaged through the apartment and took several small items including the victim's car keys. They then fled in her car which has since been recovered.

Hawkins said investigators are still trying to follow up on leads.

Tech Police Chief Stephen Quinnelly said since the current robbery may be related to other robberies, the Tech police department will hire two new officers and increase foot patrol in selected areas.

"Tech is a safe campus overall and will continue to be," Quinnelly said. "There are normally between zero and three robberies a year [at Tech]. That is much lower than the national average of 45 robberies per every 12,000 people a year."

Quinnelly said to ensure safety on campus students should report suspicious people and activities.

He said, "If you see someone in the dorms that you know does not live there, if you see someone peering in someone's car or if you notice any behavior that is out of the norm, you should report it."

Quinnelly also said students should utilize the fob systems that are installed on the entrances of every residence hall and encourages them not to let anyone enter if a person does not have a key.


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