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Tuscaloosa Police and UAPD officers increase patrols after recent off-campus robberies

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) - The University of Alabama Police Department and Tuscaloosa Police have increased patrols around campus to keep students safe after recent robberies. 

UAPD Chief John Hooks sent out an email notifying students at the University of Alabama that several people had been robbed in off-campus housing near the university. 

Student Isabelle Evans says the news increased her concerns about safety.

"It is concerning for me. I consider myself pretty tough, but when it comes down to it, if something like that ever happened to me, I wouldn't know how to react," Evans said. "I am not as strong as your typical six-foot guy, so it's concerning, especially at night."

Friday night, someone attempted to rob a student on 14th Avenue. After a struggle with that person, the suspect ran away and the student was not hurt.

In a different case from a week ago, two men robbed three students at gunpoint at the Sherill Apartments on 14th Street. The suspect stole a cell phone and a credit card from the victims. 

Tuscaloosa Police spokesperson Teena Richardson says TPD has stepped up its patrols in the off-campus areas.

"Because students are such a big target because they are not are not aware of things going on and they are not paying attention, so they become a big target," Richardson said. "And by increasing patrols or you may see more patrol cars in the area, it's because we are trying to make sure they are safe." 

Evans is now on guard, making sure she plays it smart just to be on the safe side until police catch the robbery suspects.

"I know, like locking your car is smart when you are getting into your car late at night and locking your door right away is good in parking lots," Evans said. "And don't be alone at night, always take someone with you and if you are alone, that makes you more of a target to people."

Authorities are asking students if they've seen anything suspicious to report it to UAPD or Tuscaloosa Police. 

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