The Shippensburg University Police Department sent out a safety bulletin to students on Saturday, Oct. 30, at 1:30 p.m. informing them that there have been two separate off-campus assaults recently.
The bulletin stated the assaults were late at night and “on each occurrence the motive was robbery.” No details or information about the exact locations, victims or alleged attackers were included in the email.
The case is being handled by the Pennsylvania State Police, according to Michael Lee, SUPD police chief.
According to a press release from Pennsylvania State Police spokesperson Megan Ammerman, the assaults took place on Oct. 17 around 2 a.m., Oct. 23 around 8:30 p.m. and Oct. 30 around 4:15 a.m.
All three assualts are believed to be connected and to have been done by the same individuals, according to the press release.
The most recent robbery on Oct. 30 took place at the intersection of Coy Avenue and Rotz Avenue in Shippensburg Township.
The three victims, one man and two women, were walking on Coy Avenue when six to eight men allegedly approached them from different directions. The men were said to be wearing dark clothing, masks and gloves, according to the press release.
Both the man and one of the women’s phones were taken. During the incident, one of the women was allegedly pushed to the ground. The man was treated at the hospital for significant injuries, the press release said, but gave no details on the extent of the injuries.
The Oct. 23 assault took place around 217 High St. in Shippensburg Township. A man was walking when a group of five to six men allegedly approached him from a nearby alley. The men were wearing masks and blue gloves, the press release said.
The men allegedly asked where the victim was going and then repeatedly struck him in the face. The victim lost consciousness and was allegedly assaulted in a nearby wooded area. The man’s shorts, shoes, wallet and cellphone were stolen, the press release said.
No location for the Oct. 17 assault was in the press release. It was similar to the other assaults with the victim being robbed of personal items and clothing, according to the press release.
The investigation is ongoing. SUPD and the state police encourage anyone with information about the assaults to contact them.
The SUPD safety bulletin included safety tips for students such as remaining aware of their surroundings.
Other tips encouraged students to walk in groups of two or more and to avoid shortcuts through poorly lighted areas.
The ShipShield app, which provides several safety features for walking across campus alone, was included in the tips.
Suspicious activity should be reported to the State Police at 717-249-2121 or to SUPD at 717-477-1444.