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Robberies, aggravated assaults declined significantly last semester on campus

Sharita Forrest, News Editor
(217) 244-1072; slforres@illinois.edu

2/14/2002

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The incidence of robberies and aggravated assaults and batteries declined significantly during the period Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 2001, in the University of Illinois district, according to the latest crime statistics released by the UI police department.

Robberies were down 42.8 percent during the period, with eight robberies reported as compared to 14 during the same period the previous year. Seventeen robberies were reported for the same period in the 1999-2000 academic year.

Aggravated assaults and batteries declined 13.6 percent as well, with 38 reported during the period September through December 2001. Forty-four aggravated assaults and batteries were reported during the same period the previous year.

However, the September to December 2001 figure still exceeded those for the corresponding periods of the academic years 1999-2000 (28 reports) and 1998-1999 (37).

"The decline in reported aggravated assaults, batteries and robberies is what we are hoping to see as a result of our educational efforts and information sharing," said UI police Capt. Krystal Fitzpatrick. "We will continue with our education and re-education efforts on how to avoid becoming a victim. I believe that Sept. 11 may have had some bearing on the decrease as well because it made some people more conscious of the possibility of violence and more attentive about their surroundings."

The number of criminal sexual assaults reported during the period September to December 2001 remained unchanged for the third year in a row at seven.

All of the criminal sexual assaults as well as the majority of the aggravated assaults and batteries and robberies occurred in the district’s northwest quadrant and not on UI property. The northwest quadrant of the university reporting district is an area roughly bounded by University Avenue on the north, Daniel Street and Gregory Drive on the south, Wright Street on the east and the railroad tracks east of Neil Street on the west.

Consistent with data from the previous two years' September to December reporting periods, the majority of the aggravated assault/battery and robbery victims were males between the ages of 18 and 20. Most of the crimes were perpetrated by strangers on UI students.

The majority of the aggravated assaults and batteries occurred on Saturday and Sunday nights between midnight and 3 a.m. However, fewer victims and suspects had been consuming alcohol than during the prior two years.

Residential burglaries during the period increased 4.2 percent to 74 from 71 the previous year.

Burglaries from motor vehicles declined 3.7 percent, from 81 to 78, half the number reported during the corresponding period of the 1999-2000 academic year.

Three burglaries of motor vehicle parts were reported during the period Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 2001; only one had been reported during the same period the preceding year.

The number of public indecency and Peeping Tom cases remained unchanged over the prior year at three; likewise, the number of home invasions remained unchanged at two.

The UI reporting district covers an area extending from University Avenue on the north to Windsor Road on the south, Race Street on the east and the railroad tracks just east of Neil Street on the west.