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An Important Message From Michael A. Gibson, University of Virginia Chief of Police

September 5, 2016
To: 
All University Students
From: 
Michael A. Gibson, Chief of Police

To Members of the Community:

As you may know from alerts and other public reports, the Charlottesville Police Department (CPD) is investigating a series of armed robberies since late August. The first armed robbery occurred on August 21st on Gordon Avenue, near 15th Street around midnight. The second occurred on August 31st in the 800 block of Cabell Avenue just before midnight. The third incident occurred on September 4th in the 400 block of Rugby Road around 11:00 p.m.

Anyone with information related to any of these incidents should contact the Charlottesville Police Department at 434-970-3280 or Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000.

The University Police Department (UPD) wants to remind you of some of the things you can do to protect yourself and your friends if faced with a similar situation:

  • Remain alert and observant of your surroundings.
  • Trust your instincts. If you sense trouble, get to a safe place as soon as possible.
  • During a robbery: DO NOT RESIST! Cooperate. Give the suspect(s) whatever he or she asks for: wallet, keys, jewelry, credit cards or whatever. Your life is more valuable than replaceable possessions.
  • Be the best witness you can be by getting a good look at the suspect(s) so you can describe him or her later. Try to note clothing, scars, marks, tattoos, facial hair and last direction of travel.
  • Don't make any sudden, unexpected moves. A nervous criminal may think you are reaching for a weapon.
  • Never try to be a hero and apprehend the criminal yourself.
  • Notify police immediately by calling 911. Do not touch anything the robber has touched.
  • If there are any witnesses, ask them to remain until police arrive.
  • Please remember that there is safety in numbers. If possible, walk with a companion, especially after dark and in the early morning hours. Perpetrators are less likely to confront two or more than a lone individual.

The University holds the safety and well-being of our community as our highest priority. As CPD investigates these concerning incidents, they are collaborating with UPD regarding the investigation and directed patrols of the area adjacent to the University.

Some resources available to students, faculty and staff are listed below:

The University's Ambassadors Program is available in the areas adjacent to Grounds for walking escorts. Ambassadors act as a concierge for the University and provide additional eyes and ears to police. They have both fixed posts and bicycle patrols in the area adjacent to the University where off-Grounds student housing transitions into areas occupied predominantly by city residents. See the attached link for the Ambassador patrol zone: www.virginia.edu/uvapolice/AmbassadorZoneMap.pdf.

Safe Ride is an on-demand van shuttle service intended to provide UVA students safe transportation home in lieu of walking alone after UTS has ended service for the day. Safe Ride operates within a specific service area and rides may be requested via Transloc OnDemand. For additional information click on this link: http://www.virginia.edu/parking/saferide/

The University, with UPD, continues its safety awareness efforts through increased outreach to students, faculty and staff. We encourage every member of our community to exercise good judgment and remain aware of his or her surroundings. Take care of each other. The University Police Department website offers several good tips at www.virginia.edu/uvapolice/prevention.html.

Michael A. Gibson
Chief of Police