UO President Michael H. Schill sent the following message to the campus community March 9:
Dear University of Oregon community members,
In the last week, a rash of five armed robberies near the university has disrupted our collective sense of safety. One of my primary concerns at all times is the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff, and the proximity of these crimes to campus is distressing to us all. I have asked Police Chief Matt Carmichael to do everything within University of Oregon Police Department’s power to both help solve the crimes and increase efforts to protect members of the UO community from these types of incidents.
Here is what we know at this time – a young woman was robbed at gunpoint early Thursday morning walking on Hilyard Street near 15th Avenue. Another young woman was also robbed at gunpoint in the early morning hours of March 3 in the same area. There were three additional armed robberies in the past week at local businesses – one at an off-campus Subway sandwich shop, another at Tom’s Market, and also at the Neighborhood Market. Police believe that multiple men could be involved.
We don’t definitively know that any of these incidents are linked, but the suspects do have similar descriptions. Additional details and the suspect descriptions are available on the UOPD website and Eugene Police website. Anyone with information about the suspects or the incidents should contact Eugene Police at 541-682-5111 or UO Police at 541-346-2919.
While the Eugene Police Department has primary jurisdiction over these crimes since they took place off campus, UOPD is actively working with Eugene Police to catch those responsible for the crimes, including participating in daily briefings and closely coordinating with Eugene Police. UOPD also has put additional officers in the field, and detectives have ramped up both electronic and human surveillance in and around campus.
In addition, we have expanded our campus shuttle services that provides secure alternatives to walking alone at night. The UO Campus Shuttle program runs a free bus-stop style fixed route shuttle every 15-20 minutes from 5:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. every day of the week. Safe Ride and the Designated Driver Shuttle are available to all students, faculty, and staff by calling 541-346-7433 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. UOPD also offers safety escorts by calling 541-346-2919.
If you find yourself working or studying late, arrange to leave with a friend, or utilize the services above. If you do find yourself confronted by someone who wants money or personal property, give it to them without a fight and call 911 as soon as it is safe to do so. Try to get an accurate description of the assailant, and if a vehicle is involved, try to get the license number. The more information that can be provided to law enforcement, the better.
Be safe and take care of each other. It is at moments like this when we rely upon the principle that we are all part of a community. Please watch out for yourself and others. Please be aware of any unusual circumstances and immediately notify campus police about any concerns. I also encourage each of you to take a moment to familiarize yourself with the various campus safety tips at police.uoregon.edu/crime-prevention-tips.
One of the things that attracted many of us to Eugene is its relative safety and quality of life. I have every confidence that Chief Carmichael, UOPD, and EPD will restore that feeling of security and you have my pledge that I will do everything within my power to support those efforts.
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law