CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) –
Charlottesville police are investigating an armed robbery they say happened around 11:30 Sunday night on Rugby Road. Police are looking for three men they believe were involved in the incident.
Police say a man and a woman reported they were walking in the 400 block of Rugby Road when they were approached by three men. One of the men produced a firearm and demanded money.
The suspects were described as being three black men, all 5’8” to 6’0” tall. One was described as heavy set, while the other two were described as having thin builds. Investigators believe they are in their mid-20s.
According to a University of Virginia alert, the men covered their faces with shirts. They were last seen heading south on Rugby Road by the Beta Bridge.
The victims were not hurt in the incident.
If you have any information related to this incident, call the Charlottesville Police Department at 434-970-3280 or Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.
Rugby Road was bustling on Monday morning, students walking to class, starting their weeks. There was one thing they were all talking about though.
“I was on my way back from a concert and there was a lot of cops out here, seemed like very suspicious activity,” said Clay Neal.
Students started getting emergency alerts from the university police shortly after the robbery happened.
“Everyone is just like freaking out about like cause they said, they sent out another report saying they were coming by Beta Bridge so everyone was just like wait, so, does that mean they are in our area right now? So nobody knew what was going on,” remarked one student.
One student added she was surprised the incident happened near the Beta Bridge.
Alyssa Smith, a graduate student at UVA, lives just a few blocks away from where it happened, and she spent the morning talking to a friend about the case.
“She was like ‘another one’ you know? This is like the third one, you know, so I think people are just,I don’t know. Like, in disbelief,” said Smith.
There have now been three armed robberies near UVA in the last two weeks, one on Cabell Avenue, and another on Gordon Avenue.
Students say they are going to be extra cautious now.
“I think I will probably just Uber places instead of walking right now,” smith added.
Charlottesville Police Department News Release:
The Charlottesville Police Department received a report of an armed robbery that occurred last night on 09/04/2016 at approximately 11pm.
The victims, a male and female, reported that they were walking in the 400 block of Rugby Road when they were approached by three males. One of the males produced a firearm and demanded money. The suspects then fled the area.
Neither victim was injured during this incident.
The suspects were described as being three black males all 5’8” to 6’0” tall. One suspect was described as being heavy set while the other two were described as being of a thin build.
If anyone has any information related to this incident, they are asked to call the Charlottesville Police Department at 434-970-3280 or Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.
Statement from the University of Virginia Police:
To Members of the Community:
As you may know from alerts and other public reports, the Charlottesville Police Department (CPD) is investigating a series of armed robberies since late August. The first armed robbery occurred on August 21st on Gordon Avenue, near 15th Street around midnight. The second occurred on August 31st in the 800 block of Cabell Avenue just before midnight. The third incident occurred on September 4th in the 400 block of Rugby Road around 11:00 p.m.
Anyone with information related to any of these incidents should contact the Charlottesville Police Department at 434-970-3280 or Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000.
The University Police Department (UPD) wants to remind you of some of the things you can do to protect yourself and your friends if faced with a similar situation:
· Remain alert and observant of your surroundings.
· Trust your instincts. If you sense trouble, get to a safe place as soon as possible.
· During a robbery: DO NOT RESIST! Cooperate. Give the suspect(s) whatever he or she asks for: wallet, keys, jewelry, credit cards or whatever. Your life is more valuable than replaceable possessions.
· Be the best witness you can be by getting a good look at the suspect(s) so you can describe him or her later. Try to note clothing, scars, marks, tattoos, facial hair and last direction of travel.
· Don’t make any sudden, unexpected moves. A nervous criminal may think you are reaching for a weapon.
· Never try to be a hero and apprehend the criminal yourself.
· Notify police immediately by calling 911. Do not touch anything the robber has touched.
· If there are any witnesses, ask them to remain until police arrive.
· Please remember that there is safety in numbers. If possible, walk with a companion, especially after dark and in the early morning hours. Perpetrators are less likely to confront two or more than a lone individual.
The University holds the safety and well-being of our community as our highest priority. As CPD investigates these concerning incidents, they are collaborating with UPD regarding the investigation and directed patrols of the area adjacent to the University.
Some resources available to students, faculty and staff are listed below:
The University’s Ambassadors Program is available in the areas adjacent to Grounds for walking escorts. Ambassadors act as a concierge for the University and provide additional eyes and ears to police. They have both fixed posts and bicycle patrols in the area adjacent to the University where off-Grounds student housing transitions into areas occupied predominantly by city residents. See the attached link for the Ambassador patrol zone: http://www.virginia.edu/uvapolice/AmbassadorZoneMap.pdf
Safe Ride is an on-demand van shuttle service intended to provide UVA students safe transportation home in lieu of walking alone after UTS has ended service for the day. Safe Ride operates within a specific service area and rides may be requested via Transloc OnDemand. For additional information click on this link: http://www.virginia.edu/parking/saferide/
The University, with UPD, continues its safety awareness efforts through increased outreach to students, faculty and staff. We encourage every member of our community to exercise good judgment and remain aware of his or her surroundings. Take care of each other. The University Police Department website offers several good tips at http://www.virginia.edu/uvapolice/prevention.html.
Michael A. Gibson
Chief of Police
Article written by NBC29