Greek leaders say area still safe after robbery

A man brandishing a handgun stole two purses from three women.

Three women were robbed Wednesday night at Fifth and Rollins streets near Greektown and several campus buildings.

The suspect, armed with a silver handgun, approached the girls on foot as they were about to enter a car, according to a news release from the Columbia Police Department.

The suspect took two the victims' purses and left the scene on foot. CPD officers and a police K-9 Unit searched the area but didn't find the suspect.

CPD Lt. Scott Young said police have not located the suspect and he doesn't believe officers found anything belonging to the suspect during the search of the area.

Nothing other than the women's purses were taken and no other weapons were used, Young said.

Although the robbery happened off campus, the MU Police Department sent a release to the MU community to inform everyone of the incident.

"We want to make sure the community is informed about the things that are happening around us," MUPD Capt. Brian Weimer said.

The suspect ran near Stankowski Field following the robbery. Weimer said the department sent out the Clery release to inform the public.

"There is no magic line around our campus," Weimer said.

While the investigation is being handled by CPD, MUPD will be working with the city.

Weimer said he hasn't noticed specific numbers indicating that burglaries or robberies have been on the rise lately on campus and there hasn't been anything that has generated any concern.

While burglaries aren't on the rise on campus, they have increased in Columbia.

"Robberies typically pick up this time of year," Young said.

Young also said crime rates in general are on the rise.

"Everything has been generally climbing," Young said.

"This is not a big, alarming thing," Weimer said.

Interfraternity Council spokesman Sam Hargadine said the area isn't any less safe following the incident.

"Greektown is generally a very safe community," Hargadine said.

Young said robberies aren't that common near Fifth and Rollins streets.

Hargadine said there has been one break-in this year in Greektown but no violent crimes.

"There have been no violent incidents in Greektown this entire year," Hargadine said.

At the end of December, MUPD will issue a crime report of the last six months.

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