NBCPhiladelphia.com - Stacey Stauffer
Pa. university is seeing a spike in violent crimes including rape, armed robbery and assault this school year, according to police.
Students are on edge on the campus of East Stroudsburg University, after a major spike in crime this year. Police call it the most violent year ever for the university, and say students have become targets for criminals.
A female student reported being raped last Friday while walking off campus, according to school police. She told police a man jumped out of an S-U-V and pulled her inside the vehicle.
A few weeks ago, another female student reported being raped between two parked cars while she was off-campus and walking back to her dorm.
Other crimes include armed robbery, attempted armed robbery and assault.
Campus Police Chief Robin Olson says that both male and female students are being targeted. While he doesn't believe any incidents are connected, he says the one common factor is that all students who were targeted, were alone at the time.
Olson says the university has stepped up patrols, including undercover officers on campus. He's urging students to walk in groups, use the campus shuttle or a police escort, especially at night.
Campus Police are also assisting local, regional and state police in their investigation, according to the school's public relations director Doug Smith. Smith also says a safety forum has been held and that additional forums and training programs for students are being scheduled.
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