During the past several weeks, there has been a rash of reported criminal incidents in and around the Cornell University campus, most of which have resulted in arrest or indictment.
Cornell University Police is now reporting that the Ithaca Police Department is investigating two additional armed robberies that occurred in the past week and that appear to be related to each other and to an incident reported in the Crime Alert issued on Monday, March 24, 2008. These additional robberies were not reported at first to police agencies by the victims. All of the incidents are now being jointly investigated by the Ithaca Police Department and Cornell Police.
The initially reported robbery occurred at about 11:15 p.m. Sunday, March 23, near the Chapter House on the 400 block of Stewart Avenue and was reported in the March 24 Crime Alert. According to the new information, this incident was preceded by another robbery that took place at approximately 11 p.m. in an apartment in the 400 block of Stewart Avenue. The male victim reported he was inside his apartment when two subjects entered the apartment, one armed with a handgun, and robbed the occupant of cash and other items. The victim was not a Cornell student.
A third robbery occurred on March 29 at approximately 10:30 p.m. in a room in a fraternity located on West Campus. The room was occupied by Cornell students and others. Two acquaintances of one of the students then entered the room, and one of the acquaintances reportedly pulled out a handgun and robbed the other occupants of cash and other items.
In all three cases, the victims described the two robbery suspects similarly. After a joint investigation by the Ithaca Police, Cornell University Police and the Tompkins County District Attorney?s Office, one suspect has been apprehended . The second subject has been identified by the Ithaca Police and is being sought by authorities. A warrant for the arrest of Whitley Taylor, aka Cash, 36, for robbery in the first degree has been issued. Taylor is described as being a black male, 6 foot 8 inches tall, weighing 312 pounds.
To respond to the rash of recent serious criminal incidents, Cornell University Police will step up its collaboration with the Tompkins County Sheriffs Department, the Ithaca Police Department and the Cayuga Heights Police Department to heighten the visibility of public-safety patrols around the Cornell campus during the spring semester.
In addition to enhanced police patrols, Cornell Police will have its public safety auxiliary units patrolling several areas of campus throughout the rest of the semester. These unarmed auxiliary units, whose members will be clearly identified with bright green vests, will be available to serve as extra eyes and ears for police patrols and are trained to spot and relay information about suspicious and criminal activity. The public safety auxiliary personnel will travel in pairs and will be available to the public during their patrols to take information that will be radioed to uniformed officers and also to provide a walking escort as needed.
"Maintaining the safety of the Cornell community is always our primary concern, and we believe that this increased public-safety visibility will supplement our ongoing efforts, said Cornell Police Chief Curt Ostrander. Also, we continue to ask members of our community to help us, and themselves, by taking prudent and necessary safety precautions, such as locking their doors and windows at all times and traveling in groups in well-lighted areas at night.
Suspicious activity on the Cornell campus should be reported to Cornell Police by calling 255-1111. Report an emergency by calling 911 or by using any Blue Light or other campus emergency phone. Suspicious activity off campus can be reported to the Tompkins County Emergency Dispatch Center at 272-2444, or to the Ithaca Police Department at 272-3245 or by calling 911 in an emergency.
Cornell Police reminds people to lock their windows and doors at all times, to be aware of their surroundings at night, to avoid darkened and secluded areas, and to walk in groups.
Members of the campus community are asked to take advantage of Cornells Blue Light services, including: the Blue Light emergency telephones around campus, which have direct lines to Cornell Police; the Blue Light bus service that operates daily on campus from 6:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.; and the Blue Light escort service, which provides night escorts around the Cornell campus and the closely surrounding area, and can be requested by calling 255-7373 or by using a Blue Light phone.
This Crime Alert has been issued in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ( http://www.securityoncampus.org/schools/cleryact/handbook.pdf).