Armed robbers steal iPhone and backpacks near campus

By Michael Santone, Editor-In-Chief

Two students were robbed at gunpoint by two unknown male assailants on Nov. 6 at 8:30 p.m. near the corner of Shane and Loyola drives across from Lot 10, a block off campus.
“It appears, at this time, to be isolated. I don’t think the suspects have been identified, so I assume they are still at large,” Police Services Lt. Tom Holt said. “We advised Richmond Police Department that night and did do an initial investigation on possible leads — but turned up nothing.”
Holt said the two students were walking down Shane Drive toward Loyola Drive before suddenly being approached by two suspects with a handgun.
The assailants took backpacks and iPhone before fleeing southbound on Shane Drive in a dark colored vehicle.
“We put out a timely warning to advise the campus community of the crime,” Lt. Holt said.
A mass emergency message was sent out via email and text around 9:50 a.m. on Nov. 7 to inform students, faculty and staff of the robbery.
According to the message, the suspects are described as African-American males 6-foot-tall, thin, in their 20s, wearing dark shoes and clothes with an Adidas logo on their sweatpants.
Holt said, “The college has done a great job of improving lighting conditions with new LED lights and we have increased patrols with extra officers. However, we encourage people to park on campus because we do not patrol off campus.”
This off-campus area includes the surrounding neighborhoods where students often park to save the $40 it costs for a semester-long parking permit and to avoid parking congestion in the patrolled lots.
Holt said there have been robberies in areas surrounding the college in the more distant past, and that it is safer for students to park on campus.
Since the CCC campus lies between the cities of Richmond and San Pablo, the streets on either side of campus are patrolled by police from both departments.
The college has recently purchased the Campus Shield app, which students can download free of charge, Holt said. He said the app is so far under-utilized.
“We are always trying to hire more (police) aides and I have recently hired an hourly parking officer to work primarily at night. As always, we can provide on-campus escorts for staff and students who request it.”
CCC music major Elias Jimenez said he received the Nov. 7 text message warning him of the robbery.
“I think it’s a great idea that police are making sure students and professors are aware of what’s going on around them, but I didn’t get the message until the next day,” Jimenez said. “I’m glad no one was hurt. I think a quicker system to get the information out faster would be beneficial to students.”
Jimenez, who primarily takes classes during the evening, said it’s never crossed his mind that he could be robbed on campus.
“Because I don’t hear about it happening so often, I never really thought about it,” he said. “I guess now I’ll think twice about my surroundings — especially when I leave my evening classes.”
The search for the two suspects is ongoing. Holt urges anyone with any information to call the Richmond Police Department at 510-233-1214.