Wayne State University

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Safety Alerts

Timely Warning Policy

In the event that a situation arises, that, in the judgment of the Chief of Police, constitutes an ongoing or continuing threat to persons; a campus "timely warning" will be issued. The warning will be issued to students, faculty and staff through the "Campus Watch" e-mail publication and will be posted on the Police Department's website.  Such website posting will be identified as a "Special Alert". 

Determinations by the Chief of Police will be made on a case by case basis.  Warnings may be delayed if sufficient information is not available or if the warning may compromise an ongoing law enforcement effort.

All Active Special Alerts are listed below.

Special Crime Alert - Armed Robbery Incident

At 12:05 am Friday, March 10, 2017, Officers responded to Second and W. Warren Ave. on a report of an armed robbery. When they arrived, a 23 year old female WSU student stated she was robbed by two unknown males, several minutes earlier, just South of 5047 2nd Street near West Warren. 5047 2nd Street is the location of the Biological Sciences Building.

The student stated she was walking South past the Biological Sciences Building when she observed the two suspects sitting on the black benches just South of the 5047 2nd Street near W. Warren. They jumped up from the bench and pointed at her a gun-shaped object covered with a black t-shirt. Suspect 1 grabbed onto her green, canvas, drawstring backpack and demanded it. After struggling for about 10 seconds to retain her bag, the student released it and both suspects fled West on West Warren toward Anthony Wayne Drive. The student did not suffer any injuries during the altercation. Officers completed an area search with negative results.

Physical Description:

Subject #1: Unknown black male, 25 to 30 years of age, about 5’ 6’’, wearing a navy blue jacket and dark baggy pants.

Subject #2: Unknown black male, 25 to 30 years of age, about 5’ 8’’ with a rounded face wearing a black hoodie and dark baggy pants.

Special Crime Alert - Armed Robbery Incident

At 10:46 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2017, Officers responded to a report of an Armed Robbery. On arrival they met with a 21 year old female WSU student and a 22 year old male WSU student. Both stated they were robbed by two unknown males, several minutes earlier, at Second and York streets. (York street is two blocks north of the I-94/Ford freeway).

Both students stated they were walking back to campus, from an event at the Fisher Theatre, when the below described vehicle pulled up to them. Two subjects exited the vehicle and announced a robbery. One subject appeared to be armed with a handgun covered up with some type of cloth. Both offenders demanded the woman's purse and the man's wallet. The woman surrendered her purse. The male student advised he did not have a wallet. The two offenders patted him down but took nothing. The two males got back into their car and fled northbound on Second Avenue. Neither student was injured. Officers completed an area search with negative results.

The female student stated she thought she saw the vehicle drive past them prior to the robbery occurring.

Physical Description:

Subject #1: Unknown black male, 20 to 25 years of age, skinny build, wearing a black hoodie with the hood drawn around his face. Armed with an unknown type of handgun - covered with a cloth.

Subject #2: Unknown black male, 20 to 25 years of age, heavy set, last seen wearing a black hoodie

Subject Vehicle: Black Oldsmobile Alero with tinted windows.

Prevention Tips:

Be Aware of Your Surroundings:

Police Officers use this term frequently. It means nothing more than simply being aware of what is going on around you and whether or not that activity is normal and expected for the setting. If something seems strange, unusual or suspicious, you are asked to contact the WSU Police immediately at 313-577-2222. Officers will be dispatched immediately to check out the activity.

Notice Other People:

Look at the people around you, not just a momentary casual glance, but take a good look. Notice if they just glance at you (a normal reaction when making eye contact with a stranger) or if they are watching you. If you notice that they are paying more than momentary attention to you, that may be a red flag that you are about to be targeted.

Open Display of Valuables:

The open display of valuables, including jewelry, cash, and/or high end electronics (including cell phones, iPads, iPhones, etc) in public places could be just the information a potential thief needs to target you as his next victim.

Trust Your Instincts:

If someone makes you feel uneasy, trust your instincts and act accordingly. Whether indoors or out, change directions and proceed to areas where other people may be around.

Assess Your Own Vulnerability:

Strangers aren't out to attack YOU. It is nothing personal, they are just looking for the easiest target of opportunity. Your goal, therefore, is to look like somebody who will be too much trouble to mess with. They also want to make you their victim without attracting attention from others. Make it a point, wherever you go, to stay in areas where other people are present. As soon as you enter an area where no one else is around, your guard and defenses should be on alert.

While cell phones have become an important part of our lives, they can also be a distraction, preventing us from observing what is going on around us.

WSUPD patrol officers see, on a daily basis, pedestrians, both on campus and in the surrounding MidTown area, walking around openly displaying high end electronics (talking on their iPhones, texting on their phones and even listening to music, via ear buds, on iPads carried in their hands).  Not only are these pedestrians oblivious to what is going on around them, they are openly displaying their valuables to potential thieves. Some pedestrians  place themselves at risk of being hit by a car when they step off curbs to cross the street....without even looking for approaching cars because they don't take their eyes off their hand held electronic device.


Keep your head up and walk purposefully. Look at your surroundings and be aware of them. Headphones may give the impression that you are less aware, as well as being completely engaged in a cell phone conversation.

To reduce your chances of becoming a robbery victim, we recommend you routinely walk in areas where you can see others and others can see you.

Robbery perpetrators, like any other criminal, don't want to be caught "in the act" of robbing someone. They prefer areas where neither potential victims or witnesses will see them. By staying in populated areas, you increase your chances of never being selected for this type of crime.

Whether you are in the city or the suburbs and you find yourself confronted by a robber, the most important thing that you can do during the incident is to prevent, if possible, any violence. Always assume the robber is armed, even if you can’t see a weapon, and act accordingly. If you are the victim of a robbery, consider these important tips:

  • Get it over with quickly. Chances are if you stall, the robber will get nervous and may be more prone to violence.
  • Nothing you have or own is worth getting hurt for. Valuables can be replaced, you cannot.
  • Do what the robber asks, but do not volunteer to do anything more. Move quickly, but carefully to give the robber exactly what they want.
  • Do not fight or try any impulsive heroics. The risks are high if the robber is armed.
  • Do not volunteer to go anywhere with the robber or allow them to take you anywhere. The odds are heavily against you if you allow them to take you to a secondary crime scene where they have more privacy and more control over you.
  • Do not chase the robber. Carefully note their physical description and the direction they flee in. If they have a vehicle, note it's type, make, color and license plate if possible.
  • If you have the opportunity to flee, do so immediately. The robber wants your property most of all. Drop it or throw in one direction, then run in the opposite direction, to any area where there may be other people around.
  • Call the Wayne State University Police immediately at 313-577-2222.

We also recommend you carry your cell phone on your person (on a belt clip or in your pocket), rather than in a purse, in your hand or in a backpack. That way, if you become separated  from your purse or backpack, you can still call for assistance.