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West Lafayette police investigating four recent robberies involving students

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (November 24, 2015) – Police in West Lafayette are on a high alert, after four robberies occurred there in less than a week.  All robberies involved students, and some involved weapons.

“It’s really surprising; it’s pretty rare that we get the text message alerts,” said Purdue student, Elizabeth Larue.

But with four robberies happening blocks from Purdue University, police are beefing up their patrols.

“It’s very unusual for our community, something that we do not see, especially in that span of time,” said Deputy Chief of the West Lafayette Police Department, Troy Harris.

Harris says in the last several days, on three occasions, Purdue students were robbed, while walking off campus. The robbers he said made off in total, with hundreds of dollars and on one occasion, a cell phone.

Another, armed robbery of a Dairy Queen near campus on Sunday, has police worried this is becoming all too common in what is considered, a safe, quiet, college town.

“The safety that we’ve experienced, that we’ve been fortunate to experience here over the years maybe leads to a false sense of security at times,” said Harris.

Harris warns these robberies may have been avoided. Each victim he says was walking alone, in the dark. A combination he says that inevitably invites a predator to attack.

“As a female I don’t typically walk around alone at night and this would definitely reinforce that,” said Larue.

Those that live blocks from the robberies are now heeding the warning from police to never travel alone and always be vigilant.

“Being a girl here, period, I would never walk home by myself and if I did, I would always be on the phone with someone. So it’s just precautionary stuff, I feel like security here could be a lot better,” said Purdue alum, Sarah Ashraf.

For now, police do not believe that the four robberies are connected. They are still looking for help in these investigations. If you have a tip that may lead to an arrest, call the West Lafayette Police Department at (765) 775-5200.

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