Three teens now charged in armed robbery at CWRU; school increases security

Three teens now charged in armed robbery at CWRU; school increases security

Three Cleveland teenagers are under arrest, accused of robbing several Case Western Reserve University students at gunpoint. Two of the kids allegedly involved are age 16, while the third is 13.

The crime happened July 19 in the university's Wade Commons Building and has now prompted the University to increase security.

Within the next few weeks, the university will launch a targeted crime-prevention program for the northeast part of campus.

The effort includes the appointment of several new security officers charged to patrol in the evening and early-morning hours.

It also involves the assignment of a nighttime police supervisor to coordinate short- and longer-term initiatives to gather intelligence, identify potential risks and deploy officers strategically to address potential trouble spots. 

"As grateful as we are that no one was injured physically during this crime," Senior Vice President for Administration John Wheeler said, "the presence of even potential violence on campus demands that we do more to protect our community. These efforts represent an important start, and we will continue to assess our options in the coming months."

Most of the new security officers will walk beats from the North Residential Village to classroom buildings south and west of student housing.

The patrols will extend all the way to East Boulevard and Bellflower Road, adjacent to the new Tinkham Veale University Center and Kelvin Smith Library. One officer, however, will be stationed in an elevated security booth in the heart of the North Residential Village.

The approach is designed to cover key walking paths students and others often use after dark. 

Case Western Reserve police, student affairs staff and students will collaborate to provide training to the new security officers arriving next month.

In addition, first-year students will attend multiple orientation sessions regarding university policies and ways to increase their own personal safety – for example, by calling the campus Safe Ride van when traveling across campus or to the Coventry neighborhood in Cleveland Heights after dark.

In September, the university will host a safety fair for all students – undergraduate, graduate and professional. 

Wheeler said the university will evaluate physical security measures, including lighting, cameras and access control to buildings this fall.

Case Western Reserve will also retain an external expert to provide a comprehensive assessment of all police and security efforts on campus, with particular emphasis on best practices for institutions located in urban areas.

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