Students on alert after string of armed robberies on GSU campus - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Students on alert after string of armed robberies on Georgia State campus

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Surveillance of one of the suspects Surveillance of one of the suspects
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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

More than 30,000 people attend Georgia State University, and most have cell phones, making them attractive to crooks.

"Generally they rapidly approach a student, snatch the phone and run off," said Capt. Carlton Mullis with the Georgia State University Police Department.

Police told CBS Atlanta that things have escalated recently.

"We've had a couple of them where they have actually shown the weapon or said they had a weapon and demanded the phone," Mullis said.

Police said that's what happened on Sunday night shortly after 7 p.m. near Piedmont Avenue and Decatur Street.

Investigators said surveillance cameras recorded five men in action as they approached the female victim, hit her in the face and took her cell phone.

Police said that the next night, three men took another man's cell phone and bag. Detectives weren't sure if the two cases were related.

"It's concerning that people seem to think it is really important to use weapons and other forms of violence to get your things. It's unnecessary and sad, really," said Al Williams, a GSU student.

In addition to using the university's network of cameras, police have also stepped up patrols and deployed undercover cops to catch the crooks. But many students said ultimately, safety starts and ends with them.

"I stay in groups when I walk, that is really all you can do. I'm not going to sit in my house and be scared," said Hannah Stefanoff, a GSU student.

Police said there have been six armed robberies on campus since September and three have been on Piedmont Road.

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