Armed robberies on rise near JHU Homewood campus

Disturbing trend continues despite recent arrests

BALTIMORE (WMAR) - Venturing into the neighborhoods surrounding campus, Johns Hopkins security vehicles patrol an area along Guilford Avenue where three armed gunmen struck twice Wednesday night in a matter of eight minutes, robbing three students and two other victims of their cash, credit cards, and cell phones.

RELATED: Johns Hopkins students, others robbed minutes apart on same Baltimore street   

The robberies have left many here wondering who they'll strike next.

"I would give them everything I have,” said Kyle Tata, “It's not... you know... your $500 cell phone is not worth your life."

Just two months ago, Baltimore City Police arrested three other suspects in the same area who had committed seven armed robberies in just ten days' time.

"What's tragically sad about this is the individuals involved,” said BPD Media Relations Chief T.J. Smith at the time, “One is as young as 13 years old, and we have a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old."

But over a similar 10-day period in September, more armed robberies unfolded in and around Guilford Avenue targeting students, residents and delivery people, alike.

"Actually, a friend of mine witnessed an armed robbery probably about a month ago down on 27th,” said Tata, “It didn't involve any students, but it was actually I think a pizza delivery person got held up by I think a crew of three guys."

Private security forces paid for by the very people who are being targeted in Charles Village are visible around the clock here as well, trying to stem a disturbing trend.

"The more mobile the suspects are, it's harder to pinpoint, catch and stop and another problem is a lot of juvenile crime," said Tony Brown, the safety services director for the Charles Village Community Benefits District, "It's popping up more and more, and Northern District has made some great arrests this past Sunday." 
    
Arrests, like others made here in recent months that may provide some relief until the next series of robberies chalks up a new set of victims.

In August and September, robbers targeted a total of 49 victims in Charles Village.
    
Also, Baltimore City Police statistics show a 32-percent hike in robberies in the Northern District compared to this time a year ago. 

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