Strong-Arm Robbery Near Campus

USF student recovers after sustaining injury in USF’s first reported robbery of 2023.  Photo by Megan Robertson / SF Foghorn

Last Tuesday, a USF student was robbed at 10:24 a.m. in front of the 31 Muni bus stop at Turk Boulevard and Parker Avenue, a five minute walk from lower campus. According to a safety notice from Public Safety, two suspects hit the victim multiple times, took the victim’s phone and fled on foot headed Eastbound along Turk Boulevard. The victim was treated for injuries at a nearby medical facility. 

Department of Public Safety Senior Director Dan Lawson said, “The officer was interviewing the victim at 10:26 a.m. Other officers on duty were advised and began searching for the suspects.” 

Lawson provided an update about the student who was a victim of the robbery. He stated, “While we cannot account for emotional trauma, we do know our student suffered an abrasion, is recovering at home, and may be returning to campus soon.” 

Jadia Peavy, a sophomore public health major, witnessed the incident taking place. She said, “My first thoughts were that I was very confused. It was broad daylight and very close to campus in a high traffic area. Nothing really happens in that area since students are always walking through there. So seeing something like that take place was shocking.”

She added, “In situations like those, it’s hard to know what physical actions to do since it can get as serious as life or death. You don’t want to be hurt if you cause a scene, but at the same time, by being silent, you’re subjecting yourself to the assault.”

According to the Citizen app, a 911 caller reported the incident at 10:41 a.m. Citizen is a mobile app that sends users location-based safety alerts in real time. It allows its users to read updates about ongoing reports of crime in proximity to their current location. 

The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) confirmed the incident was a strong-arm robbery, which means no deadly weapon was involved, according to the California Penal Code Section 211.

Public Safety sent students a safety notice stating that they and SFPD were investigating the situation and USF officers are conducting extra patrols in the area. They sent the email at 4:53 p.m., 6 hours and 29 minutes after the incident occurred.  

Lawson said the safety notice wasn’t immediately sent because “there wasn’t imminent danger to the community.” He added that a timely warning was not warranted within their guidelines

He added, “Every semester when the Dons Alert is tested, an email is sent to all students, faculty, and staff that has a link to the protocol, in which we activate the timely warning and informational alerts.” 

According to the Public Safety’s daily crime log, robberies that involve USF students are extremely rare. This is the first robbery to take place in the 2023 calendar year.

Lawson stated, “Although highly unlikely that an incident like this will be repeated by the same perpetrators, community members feel safer when they see officers patrolling frequently. In our alert, we note this more focused vigilance as well as our safety shuttle, and safety escort services.”


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