UAPD issues stranger danger alert on campus

UAPD issues stranger danger alert on campus

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - University of Arizona police are warning students and faculty about a strange man soliciting students on campus.

Police got calls from two female students within ten minutes of each other on June 12, saying they were confronted by an unknown man in two separate incidents.

In the first incident, police said the suspect approached the victim who was walking along the 700 block of N. Tyndall Avenue near the Tyndall Garage.  The man tried to talk to the girl and asked her to get in his car.  The student ignored his advances and he drove away.

In the second incident, a few minutes later, police said the same man approached another student who was walking on Speedway Boulevard, east of Park Avenue.  The suspect got out of his car and approached the student near the Olive tunnel.  The suspect tried to guide the student toward his car, but the student ran away and called UAPD.

The suspect is described as a white male in his late 20's to early 30's, about 5'7"-5'11" tall with a stocky/chubby build, and dark slicked back hair. He was wearing a light colored t-shirt with graphics and baggy jeans.  The vehicle is described as a white, Chevrolet Malibu style four-door.  Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or 88-CRIME.

University officials want to remind students they have more than 230 blue light emergency phones located throughout campus, on every street corner, and every floor of the parking garages.  Pushing the emergency button will activate the blue light and make it flash, and alert dispatchers who will speak to you through the intercom.  Police said it usually takes no more than two minutes for an officer to respond to the blue light phone, which they were able to track by GPS.

Officer Joe Bermudes, a crime prevention specialist with UAPD said if you felt like you were being followed, hit the emergency button on one phone, then walk to the next phone, press the button there, then on to the next phone, and so forth.  Police would be able to track your trail.

Police also want to remind you to use ASUA Safe ride which is a free way to travel between UA buildings and lots at night. Call (520) 621-SAFE.

PTS Night Cat travels a full circuit around campus every 30 minutes.  The service is free and runs from Mon-Fri from 6 PM to 12:30 AM.

Remain alert and aware of your surroundings and people at all times.  Save important phone calls or texts for later.  Using a cell phone or other electronic devices while walking, biking, or driving are distractions and divert your attention away from surroundings.

Bermudez also advised students to make eye contact with people, this alerted them that you were aware of their presence, and made you less of a target.

At night, police advise you to travel in well-lit areas and to avoid shortcuts through deserted areas.  Use a buddy system, or travel in groups.

University officials had obtained rights to an app called Live Safe, that was in the testing phase.  The app is available for free through Google Play and Itunes, and students could get important safety information and emergency phone numbers  on it.  The app also allowed them to directly report crimes, and text dispatch in case of an emergency, if you were unable to make a phone call.  The app also featured a Safe Walk button that allowed you to add friends, and have them track you as you walked around campus.

The app is expected to go "live" when school starts in August.

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