Police step up after third off-campus robbery near Georgia Tech

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It's the third armed robbery of Georgia Tech Students this month involving seven victims.

Atlanta Police call it a bit of an aberration, but are taking immediate action to stop the rash robberies.

Georgia Tech Student Eddie Rivas said he's being extra careful since the latest robbery occurred in his neighborhood.

"I live in Home Park now so I'm going to have to make that walk and I gotta keep that in the back of your mind while you're walking through there. You gotta keep on alert, keep your head on a swivel," said Rivas.

Atlanta Police said the early Sunday morning robbery occurred off campus on Mecaslin Street near Laurent Street.

One of the victims told FOX 5 News they thought they were safe.

"We were like seven people so we assumed it would be fine," said Deniz Bozkurt.

She said the two men who jumped out of a dark sedan with guns drawn stole cell phones, wallets purses and more from the group.

She said they forced some of the victims to surrender their passwords to their phones.

"They had guns so they couldn't really like say no. We don't know if it's like if they're actually going to murder us," said Bozkurt.

Atlanta Police told FOX 5 News this latest armed robbery doesn't fit the usual pattern.

"It is a bit of an aberration to have this many victims involved in a pedestrian robbery," said APD spokesperson Carlos Campos.

Campos said this is the third off-campus armed robbery of Georgia Tech students this month on the streets of the Home Park neighborhood.

In an effort to stop the robberies, Campos said police are increasing patrols around downtown campuses as well as focusing on suspicious vehicles and activity as well as evaluating camera locations to maximize coverage.

And he said APD is working closely with Georgia Tech Police while coordinating efforts with APD Robbery investigators and prioritizing suspicious person, vehicle calls to eliminate delays.

Investigators are also searching for common threads in local robberies.

"What really is important is that we do work with all the university departments together to try to combat this," said Campos.

He said despite extra efforts by APD and campus police there are no guarantees, a tough lesson learned by the latest victims.

"No one wanted to risk their lives for like a phone. Obviously, it's really annoying but it's better than not dying," said Bozkurt.

Atlanta Police advise students to carry the minimal amount of valuables as they can especially late at night.

Investigators are also searching for a third man who was likely the getaway driver.

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