Two crimes — one battery and one strong armed robbery — happened just hours apart and blocks off Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus on Feb. 26, according to Campus Safety reports.
The first incident, reported by two Loyola students, occurred around 1:30 a.m. on the 1200 block of W. Arthur Avenue. A group of five to seven men approached the students, then hit and pushed them to the ground, according to an email sent out to the Loyola community later Feb. 26.
Less than two hours later, another group of men approached a non-Loyola individual on the 1300 block of W. Albion Avenue — the same block where Loyola student Mutahir Rauf was fatally shot in December 2014. The group of men knocked the man down then stole his wallet and glasses, according to the email.
Reported robberies are on the rise in Rogers Park, according to the most recent Chicago Police Department crime statistics. So far this year, there have been 21 more robbery reports compared to the same period in 2015. However, reports of battery in Rogers Park have remained the same with 13 incidents reported during the first two months of 2015 and 2016.
Junior Tom Hess, who lives one block east of where the robbery took place, said despite the crime near his apartment, he’s never felt unsafe on his street. He said that crime is just a part of living in the city.
“I never really even thought twice about the email,” said the 20-year-old physics major. “We get so many of them [that] it’s pretty much just another reminder that I live in Chicago.”
The battery happened near the CVS and The Morgan at Loyola Station apartments on Sheridan Road. Junior Tori Kaloudis, 21, lives in the Morgan and said she still feels safe in her apartment, but not in the area beyond it.
“It’s concerning that these types of crimes are occurring so close to my apartment, but also so close to campus,” said the biology and biochemistry double major. “I feel safe in my building, but if I had to walk past it, I would be more cautious about going out at late times.”
Senior Greg Klima, who walks down Albion Avenue to get to and from campus, said the neighborhood feels significantly less safe than when he first moved in two years ago. Klima said he’s had his own experience with theft — people have stolen the license plates and exhaust pipe from his car — and said police told him there was almost no chance he’d get them back.
“All of this makes me very wary of living in the neighborhood any longer than absolutely necessary, which is a shame because there are a lot of great people in this community that deserve better from their police department in terms of protecting them and their property,” said the 23-year-old international business major.