Students are taking preventative measures in light of the recent armed robbery that occurred at an off-campus apartment Thursday, but Los Angeles Police Department officials say there is no real need for concern.
Though many students living in the area of 29th Street — where Thursday’s robbery occurred — said they still feel the neighborhood is safe, many added that they are taking additional safety measures.
Chris Farro, who lives in the building where the robbery occurred, said that his landlord installed bars on all the windows in the complex Saturday.
“I don’t think they’re going to come back or anything, but we’ve been a lot better about locking our own rooms,” said Farro, a junior majoring in business administration. “I also just got renter’s insurance.”
Other students are taking similar precautions.
Michael Scott, a junior majoring in computer engineering who lives on 29th between Orchard Avenue and Hoover Street, said he thinks the neighborhood is safe because it is regularly patrolled by USC’s Department of Public Safety. Scott added, however, that he plans to take extra safety measures.
Scott said before the robbery he had casually asked his landlord to put bars on the windows, but now he intends to make sure it happens.
“It has made me want to push my landlord to put bars on sooner,” Scott said.
Megan Dickey, who lives on 29th and Hoover, said she is locking her bedroom door at night as an extra security measure.
“When we heard about [the robbery], one of my other roommates said we need to make sure that our doors are locked at all times,” said Dickey, a junior majoring in broadcast journalism.
Though LAPD officials said they are encouraging students to take these precautions, they believe Thursday’s robbery was an isolated incident.
Because they think the robbery was a one-time incident, LAPD said they advised DPS not to issue a crime report.
Capt. Art Miller of LAPD’s southwest division said LAPD officials did not think it was necessary to raise concerns among members of the USC community.
“I think it sends the wrong message,” Miller said of a crime report. “It sends the message that there are some suspects out there running rampant and doing home invasions, and that’s not the case.”
Though LAPD is still investigating the robbery, Miller said its unique circumstances have led officials to believe there is little risk of a repeat crime.
“There’s nothing in terms of this being a serial type incident,” Miller said. “If it occurred as alleged, it was probably a one-time deal.”
LAPD officials will continue to investigate the crime and will be re-interviewing the victims, Miller said. He said he could not put a time frame on the investigation, but noted residents in the area have little to be concerned about, even though no arrest has been made.
“I would say that I would not worry about it, but at the same time, I wouldn’t let my guard down on the normal activities of my life,” Miller said.
Miller suggested residents continue to lock their doors and windows and take other basic safety measures.
Though no crime alert was issued, fliers with tips on preventing home invasion were distributed to residents in the neighborhood.
“It was just a bunch of tips like, ‘Have really good locks,’” Dickey said. “I saw them all down Menlo, on cars and on 29th. It was all just common sense, nothing that I hadn’t thought of already.”
Alex Norby, who lives on 29th and Hoover, said he thinks it’s good for students to be aware and take precautions.
“I think generally most of us feel safe because we hear about stuff happening in the papers, but we don’t actually experience it. The closer you are, the more you react to it,” said Norby, a sophomore majoring in business administration (cinema-television). “Most freshman live on campus, and when they move over here they don’t realize we don’t live on campus anymore.”
Alexandra Tilsley contributed to this report.