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String of Robberies on FSU Campus

By: Angleica Alvarez, Julie Montanaro Email
By: Angleica Alvarez, Julie Montanaro Email

UPDATED 2.2.2012 6:30pm by Julie Montanaro

There have been five robberies on the FSU campus in the past two weeks.

A former student was arrested and charged with two of those robberies, but word of the purse snatchings and phone snatchings has lots of students on edge.

"I turned around and the girl clipped me in the jaw with her first, started hitting me in the head."

Zaira Rivera Valentin says it was like an out of body experience. She was walking behind the Fresh Food Company late at night January 27th, when a woman asked to use her phone and then tried to rob her.

A group of men walking nearby heard her scream and ran to help. The woman got into a waiting car and drove away.

The woman, 23 year old Cassandra Gibson, is now under arrest and accused of two robberies that night.

"They had six photographs and within a second I was able to point her out," Valentin said. The fact that police were able to arrest Gibson soon afterward "was really exciting," she said.

These were two of the five robberies on campus in the past two weeks. One robber was armed with a gun. He struck in a parking lot near the Diffenbaugh building on January 24th.

Two other hold ups happened near Kellum Hall. One was January 19th, the other was on January 31st.

"It's pretty crazy. You wouldn't think that you'd get robbed on your own campus, you know, just sitting there twiddling on your phone or whatever," said FSU Senior Tyler Bourke.

"It's a little worrisome, but personally, I don't walk around by myself ever at night because I'm really worried about that kind of thing." said FSU freshman Nicole Mericle.

FSU police say there a couple of common denominators. Most of the victims were alone at night and most were concentrating on their cell phones.

"It could help a robber sneak up on them. It could help him target them. They look at this person and say there's something I can get," said Major Jim Russell.

FSU Police say they have about a dozen robberies on campus each year, so this many, this soon, is certainly alarming.

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UPDATED 2.2.2012 by Julie Montanaro

23 year old Cassandra Gibson has been arrested and accused of committing two robberies in the same night.

FSU police say on January 27th at about 11pm, Gibson tried to snatch a woman's purse near the corner of Jefferson and Gray Streets. Police say she failed and then ran to a waiting car.

FSU police say about 30 minutes later, Gibson approached an FSU student near the Fresh Food Company and asked to use her phone.

The victim says Gibson tried to grab her phone and hit her repeatedly. She says the two ultimately fell to the ground. The victim says when she started to scream, Gibson ran away and got into a waiting car.

Gibson is accused of two counts of robbery.

There have been no arrests in three other robberies on campus. Two of them happened near Kellum Hall and the other happened in a parking lot near the Diffenbaugh Building.

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February 1, 2012

POLICE AT FLORDIA STATE UNIVERSITY ARE INVESTIGATING FIVE ROBBERIES ON CAMPUS WITHIN THE LAST TWO WEEKS.

POLICE SAY USUALLY THEY AVERAGE ABOUT 13 ROBBERY INVESTIGATIONS A YEAR, SO TO HAVE FIVE ALREADY THIS YEAR IS ALARMING.

THE LATEST ROBBERY HAPPENED LAST NIGHT AROUND EIGHT AT KELLUM HALL.

A STUDENT HAD JUST WALKED BACK TO HIS DORM FROM THE FSU BOOKSTORE WHEN HE NOTICED SOMEONE FOLLOWING HIM.

BEFORE HE COULD GO IN, THE SUSPECT ATTACKED HIM AND TOOK HIS WALLET.

HE DID NOT HAVE A WEAPON AND THE STUDENT IS NOT SERIOUSLY HURT.

THE OTHER ROBBERIES UNDER INVESTIGATION HAPPENED ALL AROUND CAMPUS:
ONE ON JANUARY 19TH...
ANOTHER ON THE 24TH...
AND TWO LAST WEEK ON THE 27TH WHICH OFFICERS BELIEVE ARE RELATED.

AROUND EIGHT TONIGHT, FSU POLICE TWEETED OUT AN ALERT THAT AN ARREST HAS BEEN MADE IN TWO OF THE ROBBERIES, BUT WE HAVE NOT YET BEEN ABLE TO CONFIRM THAT WITH THEM.


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