Armed robbery suspects arrested, TUPD stresses continued vigilance

Claire Henry, Contributing Writer

Two suspects in a series of armed robberies last week have been arrested, Tulane University Police announced Tuesday. (Rahima Olatinwo)

The New Orleans Police Department arrested two suspects on Tuesday who they believe are responsible for two armed robberies on Hillary Street that rattled students returning to campus last week. 

The suspects are juveniles — aged 15 and 16 — so their identities remain protected. 

“Those two individuals are off the street in custody,” Tulane University Police Chief Kirk Bouyelas said. 

In the weekend before school started, Tulane students were the victims of a series of armed robberies, all believed to be perpetrated by the same group of individuals. On Friday, Jan. 13, a carjacking occurred on Birch and Broadway Streets, and on Sunday, Jan. 15, two separate armed robberies occurred on Hillary Street. The incidents all occurred within a few block radius of Tulane’s campus.

In an interview, Bouyelas said that security camera footage obtained by the department played a key role in identifying the suspects.

TUPD increased monitoring of their patrol perimeter, the area from South Carrollton to Jefferson Avenues and St Charles to South Claiborne Avenues, in response to the recent crimes. They worked with NOPD to apprehend the suspects. 

Bouyelas urged students to remain vigilant in neighborhoods around campus.

“Trust your instincts,” he said. This may involve actively monitoring surroundings, calling a friend to walk home or taking an indirect but more public route to a destination.

Bouyelas said that students should not hesitate to call TUPD anytime they feel unsafe. 

“We would rather go out a hundred times for nothing,” he said, “than not go out the one time somebody needed our help.”

The Everbridge app also offers virtual escorts for all students. Through the app, students can notify TUPD that they are walking somewhere and send a confirmation once they have reached their destination safely.

As Mardi Gras festivities ramp up, Bouyelas said that now more than ever, Tulane students should be aware of and protect themselves from crime. TUPD provides a list of Mardi Gras safety tips to follow in addition to practicing routine safety measures.

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