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Holy Cross students forced into trunk of car

Madeline Buckley | Monday, September 28, 2009

Two Holy Cross College students were robbed and forced to ride in the trunk of their car for at least an hour late Thursday night, according to a police report.

Police said the two male students had exited their car in a parking lot near the 800 block of Notre Dame Ave. about 10:40 p.m. Thursday when a man approached them with a gun and demanded money.

The students gave the man their wallets, cell phone and car keys. Two or three other male suspects approached the group, asked for more money and then forced the students into the back of the vehicle.

The students reported that the men forced them to drive around to several local banks to withdraw cash. The students told police the men hit them while driving the car. One student said he was hit in the ear with a gun and punched in the face. The students reported the men eventually forced them in the trunk.

Police said an officer stopped the vehicle on McKinley Road because the driver failed to turn off the car’s high beams, and the suspects fled the vehicle.

The officer then approached the car and heard noises coming from the car. He discovered the students stuffed in the trunk.

Police said the incident ended just after midnight.

Police said they currently have no suspects.

University Vice President for Student Affairs Fr. Mark Poorman acknowledged Thursday’s robbery in an e-mail to the student body Friday and said the University is working with local police to address the issue of off-campus crime.

“We have experienced crime near the campus previously, but in these most recent cases the perpetrators have been bolder than in the past,” he said in the e-mail. “As with other crimes, robbers sometimes approach students because they believe them to be easy targets, and they will choose times and locations they think students will be walking or perhaps intoxicated.”

Poorman urged students to be aware of their surroundings and take precautions when walking off campus.

University spokesman Dennis Brown said there has not necessarily been more crime this year, but the means of committing crimes have been more aggressive.

“It is the use of guns that may not have been the case in the past,” he said.