The University of Kentucky and Lexington police on Thursday announced a joint-operations task force and an increase in patrols to combat a recent rash of robberies on and around campus.
UK issued its fourth crime alert within a week Thursday after campus police were notified of a robbery at 700 Woodland Avenue, in the Cooperstown area of campus. A female student reported that two men followed her into her apartment and took money at about 1:15 p.m.
Both men were described as about 5 feet, 5 inches tall, with slender builds. The men were wearing white masks and black jeans. One man was wearing a blue Kentucky T-shirt, and the other man had several rings on his hand.
No weapon was seen.
UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said that foot, bike and car patrols would be doubled in the area, and detectives from the UK and Lexington police departments would investigate the cases due to overlapping jurisdictions.
Thursday's robbery was the fourth this week, and several more have occurred in recent months, Monroe said.
The crimes have occurred on campus and on neighboring streets.
One occurred in a Commonwealth Stadium parking lot Wednesday night. Two occurred within minutes of each other Tuesday morning.
The suspect in Wednesday night's robbery was described as a man about 6 feet, 2 inches tall, weighing 180 to 190 pounds. He had shaggy brown hair and was last seen wearing a black, long-sleeved flannel shirt with dark gray sweatpants.
The victim, a male student, kicked the robber in the face as he appeared to be reaching for a weapon, UK officials said. The incident occurred about 9 p.m.
UK police say they think another man was responsible for two robberies early Tuesday — one at 447 Pennsylvania Avenue and the other at Columbia Avenue and Oldham Court. One robbery occurred at 2:46 a.m.; the second was about a minute later.
That robber was described as a male about 5-foot-11. He was wearing a bandanna, and his hair was in cornrows. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with shorts and high white socks with black Chuck Taylor sneakers.
In each case, the victims were walking alone in isolated areas, Monroe said.
"We always recommend that you don't walk alone, that you don't put yourself in a position where you're going to be by yourself," he said.
The victims have been male in all the robberies except Thursday afternoon's, Monroe said.
Students walking on campus after hours may call (859) 257-7233 to receive an escort from Air Force ROTC students or to receive bus service from parking lots.
Monroe urged students to dial #UKPD or 911 from any cellular phone if they see suspicious behavior after hours.
Police are looking for the suspects. Anyone with information about any of the robberies should contact UK Police at (859) 275-1616 or Lexington Police at (859) 258-3600.