Police are investigating a series of robberies that may be linked to a single group of criminals targeting Hoftstra University students.
Nassau County police say there have been seven armed robberies near the campus since classes started at the end of August. Four of them involved students.
"There's been a recent spate of robberies, and one of them happened on the street really close to us," said a worried Mike Liebowitz, a senior at the school. He said a text alert was sent to the campus community.
The most recent robbery happened along Lawrence Street in Hempstead, just a few blocks from campus. Three men in hooded sweatshirts robbed an underclassman, and one of the suspects had a handgun.
Senior Jeff Cramer, who lives feet from that crime scene, says he's always been cautious about avoiding certain areas.
"We're close to the turnpike and there's a lot of action that goes on down there, so we don't really tend to walk that way too much because we know it can be scary," he said.
In another robbery, a male student was pistol-whipped and sent to the hospital after robbers took his iPod and the $2 in his wallet.
Nassau police are currently investigating whether two men and a woman recently charged with an armed robbery in nearby Uniondale may be connected to these crimes near campus. The two men have been implicated in an attempted robbery near Hofstra Sept. 19.
In the meantime, police caution students to be on alert, especially when walking late at night: most of the crimes happened between midnight and 4 a.m.