Violent crimes around UW put students on high alert

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SEATTLE —

University of Washington students are more cautious on and off campus after reports of violent attacks in the past week.


Police on campus are saying crime isn’t up.

 

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Deborah Horne spoke with students who have been on high alert.

 

“Yeah, I think in the past three or four days, we’ve gotten at least one or two every day,” said UW graduate student Christine Stordeur.  “[Reports] that people are being mugged and robbed.”

 

The crimes are a concern for Marit Murry, who goes to classes near where two of the attacks happened in broad daylight.

 

“It’s scary to not feel safe on your own campus,” said Murry. “It’s scary that you have a whole police department dedicated to this and nothing’s being inhibited by that, I guess.”

 

The string of crimes started on New Year’s Day when burglars broke into two houses in the 4700 block of 19th Avenue Northeast.

 

On Sunday, two blocks east of the burglaries, a man was robbed at gunpoint.

 

On Tuesday, police said two armed men robbed a man five blocks away.

 

Then on Thursday, a man tried to steal a worker’s vehicle near the Magnuson Health Sciences Building. On the same day, a man tried to rob a woman. 

 

University of Washington police insisted that there’s no reason to be alarmed.

 

“We haven’t seen a, you know, any real patterns to these things. They seem to be some random incidents involving different suspects and different type of situations,” said UW police commander Steve Rittereiser.

 

Some research shoed crime on campus has dropped, but burglaries off campus were up.

 

In 2009, there were 25 burglaries, and two years ago, there were nearly 80.

 

Murry said the crimes are forcing students to change their ways.

 

“It’s like the new curfew. You know, the Seattle curfew instigated by criminals,” Murry said.

 

UW police told KIRO 7 that the university provides several services to help get students home safely, but they do have to ask.

 

According to Business Insider’s latest survey, UCLA ranks No. 1 for worst crime among the nation’s colleges and universities.  There were no Washington schools in the top 25 list.