Four street robberies, possibly related, have been reported just north of campus in the past week, according to MIT Police. One incident involved an MIT instructor, and two others involved graduate students. No one was injured.
Police believe that these four incidents were committed by the same pair of black male suspects. The victims in three of the four robberies said that the robbers were brandishing kitchen-type knives. No other weapons were mentioned.
Two of the street robberies occurred on Friday, October 22, while the other two occurred on Tuesday, October 26. One suspect was described as chubby, and the other as “tall with a thin build, and dark skin.” The suspects are between 19 and 22 years old.
Dan Riviello, a spokesman for the Cambridge Police Department, said that the first incident occurred on Friday in the area of Broadway and Norfolk Streets; a male graduate student was robbed. Later that night, two male graduate students were robbed on Albany Street. The two incidents occurred between 7:45 p.m. and 8:20 p.m.
Riviello said that the incident involving the MIT instructor occurred in the 700 block of Main Street (near the 7-Eleven store) on Tuesday at 9:55 p.m. The other incident that night occurred between 200–300 Mass Ave (near Zeta Psi) at 10:10 p.m.
Despite these recent incidents, Cambridge police said in a September report that they have seen a major decline in street robberies in 2010. They report that robberies in 2010 declined 18 percent from the five-year average. (The report can be found on http://www.cambridgema.gov/CPD/publications/BridgeStat.cfm.)
In response to the recent robberies, MIT police have increased patrols in the area, Sergeant Cheryl Vossmer of the MIT Police said.
Vossmer advises people to be aware of their surroundings, to avoid using cell phones or ear buds, and to walk with a “don’t mess me attitude” when alone outside at night.