University, Urbana Police Departments investigating weekend armed robberies

University of Illinois Police and the Urbana Police Department are investigating further into two separate armed robberies that occurred over the weekend.

The University police department is looking into an incident that happened Saturday at 12:30 a.m. at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Dorner Drive.

The Urbana Police Department is focusing on an armed robbery that occurred Sunday at 12:30 a.m. in an Urbana neighborhood.

“The suspect may have had a weapon,” said Jeff Christensen Chief of University police. “The victim said that they had seen a dark rectangular object in the suspect’s hand which could have been a gun.”

The victim described the suspect as having been a white male, early 20’s, 6’0” to 6’4”, with an athletic build. This description is similar to that given by the victims in the Urbana case.

“The description is very much alike,” Christensen said. “But we cannot say for sure whether it was the same suspect. We are working on this aggressively with the Urbana Police Department.”

Christensen said that although there have been several alerts which have been sent out during the summer regarding robberies and burglaries, the crime rate, overall, has decreased over the past several years.

“Last year around this time there had been 29 reported robberies from September of the previous fall,” he said. “This year, we have had 22 that have been reported so far. In 2007, that number was at 39. So the amount of crimes are decreasing.”

Christensen said he couldn’t comment on whether or not the lack of transportation at night had anything to do with crime occurring during the summertime.

“We sent out a crime alert e-mail after we were informed of the robbery,” Christensen said. “Our goal is to try to encourage people on campus to go about safely, and call the police department if they notice any suspicious behavior.”