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

On Friday, June 9, 2017, a 31 year old male (with no WSU affiliation) reported he was the victim of an armed robbery at the bus stop on Woodward, just north of Warren.

The victim stated that he and another male (unknown to him) had just gotten off the northbound Woodward bus at Warren at approximately 10:45pm. That unknown male then pulled a small handgun and demanded money. The victim immediately surrendered his wallet. The offender then flagged down a passing taxi cab and was last seen going northbound on Woodward Avenue in the cab. The victim was not injured.

Physical Description:

Unknown black male in his 30's, thin build, approximately 6'0" tall. Hair was worn in a ponytail, he also had a beard. He was last seen wearing a black baseball cap, blue and grey hoodie and blue jogging pants.

Special Crime Alert - Armed Robbery Incident

The following information is provided to alert WSU students, staff and faculty, as well as area residents, of this incident, so that they may take additional precautions in the area.

At 7:42 am Tuesday, May 30, 2017, a WSU groundskeeper reported that he was the victim of a robbery incident, minutes earlier, at W. Palmer and Second Avenue.

The staff member stated he was working on the west side of the Law School when he was approached by an unknown male on foot. As the subject approached, the staff member noticed what appeared to be a handgun held down at the subject's side. The offender then demanded the victim's wallet, which the staff member immediately surrendered to the offender. The offender then ordered the victim to turn around and run. the victim immediately complied.

Footage from an area video camera showed the offender enter a parked black Jeep on Palmer, just east of Second and drive off eastbound. The staff member was not injured. Officers completed an area search with negative results.

Physical Description:

Unknown black male, mid to late 30's, 5'7", stocky build, possible mustache and goatee, wearing a dark blue baseball cap with the word, "Police" in black lettering on the hat, dark blue short sleeve shirt and shorts, possibly tan in color.

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.

Attitude:

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.