Police: Armed robberies near or on Baylor campus might be related

Posted at 4:11 PM, Jan 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-12 17:14:21-05

The Waco Police Department and the Baylor Police Department believe the two armed robberies that happened on or near the Baylor University campus this past week might be related.

The first one happened on Saturday night near the McLane Student Life Center. The second one happened Tuesday night on South Fifth Street near Seventh & James Baptist Church.

In both cases, police said a man - riding in a black sports car with tinted windows - walked up to the victim, pulled out a gun, and robbed them. No one was hurt in either robbery.

 "We're trying to work through the details. Good thing about the good, cooperative spirit between Baylor PD and Waco PD is we're sharing information," Waco Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Patrick Swanton said.

John Pennypacker, a senior at Baylor University, lives near where the second armed robbery happened.

"I think I'm going to be a little more conscious as to where I run, probably staying near campus," he said.

Many students said they're keeping a watchful eye on their surroundings.

"I decided not to go running by myself after dark anymore. I have pepper spray I'm carrying with me, especially after dark now, since both of them happened after dark," Val Fisk, a graduate student, said.

Swanton said you should never risk your life for your belongings.

"There is no amount of money losing your life over. So what we recommend to victims is if you're approached by somebody that is armed, cooperate with them the best you can. If that means giving them your wallet up, then give your wallet up," he said.

Even though Pennypacker said he's adjusting his running route, he's not letting the robberies get to him.

"It's an unfortunate thing, that people end up committing those crimes, but I don't think it's something that should cripple you from doing the things you do normally, day to day," he said.

Police have yet to make any arrests.

If you have any information about the two armed robberies, call police.

Here are some safety tips from Baylor University spokesperson Lori Fogleman:

  • If students, faculty or staff are alone on campus at night, we encourage them to call the Baylor police department at 254-710-2222, and they will provide a security escort on campus.
  • We also encourage students to download the Rave Guardian app on their smartphones, which will allow them to quickly contact university police by phone call or text in an emergency.
  • If you don’t have your phone with you, Baylor also has more than 80 emergency call boxes located across the campus and more than 120 emergency telephones, which are located in all building elevators. These phones are provided as an immediate means of communication to the Baylor police dispatcher during an emergency, and Baylor police always respond to those calls.
  • It’s also important for students to know the physical location of the Baylor Police Department, which is on the first floor of the Speight Parking Garage. Students can come directly to the police department and report there.
  • If any student, faculty or staff member sees suspicious activity, no matter how innocuous it may seem, it is wise to trust your instincts and a good idea to contact our police department at 254-710-2222.

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