Safety alert issued after rash of violent street robberies near York campus
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Saturday, October 21, 2017 8:14AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 21, 2017 10:48AM EDT
Police have issued a public safety alert about a rash of violent street robberies in a residential neighbourhood just south of the York University campus.
A total of four robberies have occurred between Oct. 12 and Oct. 20 in an area bounded by Pond Road to the north, Finch Avenue to the south, Keele Street to the east and Sentinel Road to the west.
Police say that in each of the robberies violence has either been threatened or used against the victims.
In one of the robberies, police say that a victim was punched in the face while in another a knife was held to a victim’s back.
Police say that cash, credit cards and cell phones and other electronic devices have been “forcefully taken” from victims during the robberies.
Police add that there have been “varying descriptions” of the suspects.
“The descriptions do vary but it is over an eight-day period, so could it be the same group of people and they are changing or is it different people? We have to investigate that,” Const. David Hopkinson told CP24 on Saturday. “We are looking for people who may have information on this to give us a call.”
No descriptions of the suspects have been released at this point.
Police are urging residents in the area to be aware of their surroundings.
“One of the biggest things to deter someone from attacking or robbing you is being able to identify them,” Hopkinson told CP24. “A lot of people are walking with their heads down and staring at their cell phones but it makes you unaware of your environment. Walk with your head up and make eye contact. Be able to identify people that are coming near you. If you can identify them it is less likely that they would want to attack you or rob you.”