11 students were robbed at gunpoint as, near Temple University’s campus, two armed males broke into a North Philly apartment, according to the police. It was around 6 in the morning when the incident happened at an off-campus residence on the 1300 block of North 15th Street. Police said that the 11 students, eight women and three men, were asleep inside at the time when the suspects, carrying handguns, entered the apartment. All of the students were between 20-22 years old.
A university spokesperson said that the apartment is outside the Temple police patrol zone, as just four blocks away south from the property where the robbery happened is the Temple’s main campus. The apartment is two blocks south and less than one block west of the areas within the university’s patrol zone, the Temple’s main campus patrol map shows, reported Philly Voice.
Police said that once the robbers got inside the apartment, they ordered the occupants into the basement where they took the students’ debit and credit cards and cell phones. Investigators said that they also took the keys to a 2015 silver Lincoln MKZ, which was used to flee the scene.
Luckily, none of the students reported being injured and no weapons were recovered. The suspects are still being searched for by the police, or even just the stolen flee vehicle which has a Pennsylvania license plate KMF-1560.
Around its North Philadelphia campus, the university has struggled to address public safety concerns, as during a carjacking near the campus one year ago, a 21-year-old senior political science major, Samuel Collington, was sadly shot and killed. Not so long after, in January, just south of Temple’s medical campus, the 23-year-old Hyram Hill, the son of a Philadelphia police officer, was fatally shot during a robbery.
In both of these shootings, the suspects have been arrested and charged.
Two months after, Temple’s public safety director resigned after 36 years with the university, and former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsay was hired by the college to conduct an audit of the university’s public safety operations. Temple developed a new personal safety app, Temple RAVE Guardian as part of the safety overhaul. The students can use the app to request police escorts and report suspicious activity.
Also in March, the university pledged to provide off-campus landlords with funding for security cameras and lighting. Temple basically made the area more secure in the last year, as they also implemented other security measures around campus. This means that they added more cameras around campus, even more campus police patrolling on foot and bikes, and better coordination with Philadelphia police to deploy officers and monitor social media for potential threats.
Crime reports are being published online by the Temple University police, which includes the details of the offenses and their locations.
Temple started a program earlier this month, a resource students can use to find off-campus housing, called the ‘Best Nest Program.’ All of the apartments included in the program meet certain safety and security criteria, and they are also inside the boundaries of Temple’s patrol zone.
Amenities are the most crucial factors, so the properties on the site are rated based on things like outdoor lighting, security cameras, and how many noise violations they have received.