University Students Alerted After Machete Robberies

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCNewYork
    A safety patrol at Hofstra.

    With her college career just days old, Hofstra University freshman Wadia John didn't want to call home to Brooklyn this week with bad news; but there was no getting around it. 

    Like every other Hofstra student, John had just received two safety alerts from the university, detailing  three late-night knife point robberies just off Hofstra's Hempstead campus. 

    Students Warned of Robberies Off-Campus

    [NY] Students Warned of Robberies Off-Campus
    Hofstra University officials have sent students two so called safety alerts?in the wake of the three knife point robberies off campus this week? (Published Friday, Sep 10, 2010)

    "It's really scary so I called my mom and she was very concerned," John explained.

    Since last Friday, five students have been robbed by a gang of masked men -- who were wielding what appeared to be a machete, according to Nassau police.   

    "They brandished that machete and demanded cash, wallets, cellphones and in one case, a camera," said Nassau Police Det. Sgt. Anthony Repalone.  "No one was hurt; but we take this very seriously."

    All of the victims live off-campus, said university officials. But as a result, both Nassau police and Hofstra's public safety department have stepped up patrols in areas around the campus.

    "The safety of our students is our highest priority," read a Hofstra statement.

    Besides the safety alerts, university officials have also met  with students, urging them to take precautions.

    "They said it's really sketchy outside the campus area, so always be aware.  Never show off your electronics," said student Paramesh Nirmal.

    Students questioned on campus said they didn't plan to curtail their late night travels because of the robberies; but insisted they would work to stay safe.

    "From now on, we'll have boys with us," said student Janeth Gonda.  "And I want to get some pepper spray."

    "It's always good to travel in pairs or with a group of people," added Sgt. Repalone.

    Four of the victims were women. In two of the robberies, the students were walking in pairs.

    Wadia John is taking it all in stride, except for dealing with her mom.

    "She's like, don't go out, except if it is something to do with school," John said with a laugh.  "But I take precautions.  We'll be okay."