Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — College move-in day turns into a terrifying experience. Four Johns Hopkins students are targeted by armed robbers.
Police say those thieves were after one specific item.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the investigation.
Detectives say they believe those students were targeted for their smartphones.
The same day hundreds move onto campus, four female Johns Hopkins students are targeted by robbers just off campus.
“It’s scary that they were in a group and they still weren’t OK. Freshman moving day, that kind of puts a big shadow on it,” said Jane Foster, JHU senior.
The four women were walking down N. Charles Street after 11:30 p.m. Wednesday when two armed men demanded their phones and money.
“You just know places you shouldn’t be walking around late at night. You just have to be careful of that kind of stuff,” said Carlos Benavides, JHU sophomore.
School officials are warning students to steer clear of parts of Charles Street, especially at night.
“That area of Charles Street, as you know, is under reconstruction right now. So it’s not as busy as it usually is,” said Dennis O’Shea, Johns Hopkins University.
The neighborhoods surrounding the university have seen a spike in smartphone robberies over the summer.
“We just want to advise all our citizens, as well as our students, to be mindful when you’re walking around with a cellular phone. That kind of attracts thieves,” said Det. Brandon Echevarria, Baltimore City Police.
Students are taking that advice not to flash their phones.
“I keep it in my bag and I go to campus and take it out and check whatever I have to do,” said Mikaela Warnecke, JHU graduate student.
The armed robbers sped off in a getaway car. None of the students was injured. Both campus and city police have increased patrols throughout the area.
The university has sent an email out to the student body warning them about the robbery.
School officials are asking students to take the university shuttle bus to get around at night.