Law enforcement on high alert after recent muggings near Missouri State University in Springfield
Two robberies within few days near the Missouri State University campus in Springfield has authorities on high alert.
The university doesn't have its own police force. Springfield officers have a substation on campus. They partner with university safety officers.
Director of University Safety, David Hall said that because of the recent muggings, one on Cherry Ave near Juanita K and the other near the corner of Elm and Kimbrough officers have stepped up their patrols.
"My car got broken into three different times. I've seen a lot of other things happen similar so it really doesn't surprise me at all," said Thomas Harper.
He is a senior at Missouri State University in Springfield. He spends most of his time on or near campus.
"I drive, if at all possible. If I am walking I'll never do it at night. Past a certain time I just won't do it. I'll wait until the next morning."
Hall said, "It's a city within a city. That's the way it gets described."
There are more than 25,000 students enrolled and thousands of guests who attend various campus events.
"It's always that challenge of how do we ensure that we are out there patrolling and make sure that we're engaged and out there where the events are occurring," explained Hall. "We're doing what we can. We're increasing patrols. Springfield Police Department's increasing their patrols. These most recent things we've been seeing have tended to occur in the early hours of the morning. We want to be extra sensitive and be sure that people are extra cautious during those overnight hours."
Halls said it's important to be extra careful whether your on or off campus.
"It's important for people to be aware and think about the actions they're taking. They're the best key to preventing themselves from becoming a victim of a crime," he explained.
Harper said, "Always be with people. Be with a group. Be in an area that isn't a sketchy alleyway or somewhere that's well lit up, around a public place."
Springfield Police are still investigating the recent muggings and trying to figure out if they are linked in anyway.
Anyone with information is asked to call authorities.