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UPDATE: University of Maryland Student Reportedly Robbed at Gunpoint

The incident occurred off campus, according to University of Maryland Police.

Update, Feb. 11: Police now say that the victim of the alleged robbery made up the entire incident.

Original article: A Univeristy of Maryland student was robbed at gunpoint early Tuesday morning off campus in the area of Paint Branch Parkway and Rhode Island Avenue, University of Maryland Police reported.

UMPD learned of an incident after it was reported to the Prince George's County Police around midnight.

According to a police report, the victim was walking westbound on Paint Branch Parkway from the Metro station with her headphones on and looking at her phone when a man approached her. He demanded she empty her pockets, police said, brandishing a black handgun.

The victim complied and told police the man then reached into her pockets taking cash and other personal property. The suspect then fled eastbound on Paint Branch Pkwy towards the Metro, police stated in the report.

Both UMPD and PGPD patrol officers searched the area, but they were unable to find the suspect.

The suspect was described as wearing all black clothing, with a mask and bright red shoes, the report stated, but due to the ski mask and gloves, the victim was unsure of the suspect’s race. PGPD is investigating the robbery.

Individuals with any information regarding this incident or the possible identity of suspects are encouraged to contact police (911 or 301-772-4908).

Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411 TIPS (8477) or text "PGPD plus your message" to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to www.pgpolice.org and submit a tip online.  Email address is: pgcrimesolvers@co.pg.md.us.

The University of Maryland Police Department also provides an escort service for anyone who feels unsafe when walking on or near campus. If you would like an escort, please call to request one at 301-405-3555 (off campus) / 53555 (on campus).

You may also use a blue light emergency phone to call for an escort. The police escort service is available to community members at all times.

UMPD also provided the following tips when walking around campus:

  • If you observe suspicious activity or behavior, contact the police immediately by calling #3333 from a mobile phone or 301-405-3333.
  • If you feel you are being followed, contact the police immediately. Prevent people from tailgating into the building by ensuring the door closes as soon as possible after you enter. Frivolous use of the handicap button allows a greater opportunity for tailgating to occur
  • Program 301-405-3333 (or #3333), the UMDPS Emergency Number into your personal mobile phone.
  • Trust your instincts. They are a natural gift that tells you when something is wrong.
  • Be ready to take protective action if necessary. This could be something as simple as crossing the street and entering a populated area.
  • Stay alert and attuned to people and circumstances around you - electronic devices that block your hearing or split your attention make it difficult for you to remain vigilant.
  • Note the locations of the Blue Light Emergency Phones and look for them as you walk.
  • Report suspicious activity/people to the police immediately by phone – call 301-405-3555 or #3333 by mobile device.
  • Be aware of suspicious vehicles - Vehicles with their headlights off or that slow down near you may pose a potential threat. Move away from the vehicles, quickly move to a populated area and provide an accurate description of the vehicle to police.
  • Avoid isolation. After dark, walk with others and use well-lit paths. Department of Public Safety escort services are available 24/7.
  • Do not carry your name, address or car license number on your key ring.
Pamela Torro February 06, 2013 at 05:10 PM
One should never be listening to headphones or playing with a phone while walking alone. People should be aware of their surroundings and of other people at all times. I make it a rule to not be on my phone when I walk home from metro. Not blaming the victim here, but making a point that if you are unaware of what is going on around you you are more easily a target for criminals.

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