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The Daily Tar Heel

2 Students Robbed at Gunpoint Near UNC

The thief stole cash from one of two victims near the corner of East Rosemary and Hillsborough streets, within a block of campus.

The incident was reported at 4:16 a.m., almost two hours after the robbery took place, reports state. No arrests have been made, and neither victim was injured during the robbery.

Jane Cousins, spokeswoman for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said the robber walked past the victims and then turned around.

One of the victims, a female UNC senior, said the man didn't seem suspicious.

"He seemed very nice," she said. "He walked about 30 feet past us, and then he turned around. I don't even know if I noticed him turn around and start walking toward us again."

But the victim said that when the man approached her, she felt uneasy because he had his hand in his pocket. He sat down next to the victims and pulled out a gun.

"He wasn't smiling this time, and he had this blank stare," she said. "He placed the gun down by the ledge to where someone driving by wouldn't be able to see it. He said, 'This is serious.'"

The other victim involved in the incident, a male UNC senior, said that at that point the man demanded money. "All I had was my ID and a check card," he said. "I put those things down and let him know that I didn't have any money."

The female victim said her friend told the man that neither person had money as she tried to push her purse behind the ledge.

"At that point the guy had gotten up, and he started walking away when he heard my purse fall," she said. "He told me to get down and get it. So I picked it up, opened it and gave him all my cash."

The male victim said the suspect then took the money and ordered the two to keep their hands up. "He wasn't holding the gun at us, but he told us to keep our hands up," he said.

Cousins said the suspect walked about 50 yards down East Rosemary Street.

"Then he turned around and told them they could put their hands down," Cousins said.

Cousins said the female victim described the suspect as a 6-foot-1-inch black male, weighing about 150 pounds with a slim build. The victim also said the man appeared to be in his mid- to late 20s with braided, shoulder-length hair. The suspect was wearing a dark toboggan, a dark wind-resistant jacket and blue jeans, and he had a silver semiautomatic handgun. Chapel Hill police are still investigating the case.

The female victim said she initially waited to report the incident because she wasn't thinking clearly.

"We thought we'd be making a big ordeal out of nothing, but when we got home I got really upset about it and realized the situation could have been so much more severe," she said.

She said the incident made her think twice about safety, both on and near to the UNC campus. The incident took place less than a block from campus.

"I feel like a lot of girls, including myself, feel like if you're with a male then you're safe, and I was with a guy and this happened still," the female victim said.

"You hear these stories all the time," she added. "On Saturday night, I walked home by myself, and I didn't think twice about it. I just feel that unless you have a personal experience with it, you just ignore it."

The male victim said he was surprised the incident happened, given the fact that the location was well-lit and public. "It's not in one of the areas that people do know can be a little dangerous," he said. "I guess it's just a wake-up call."

The City Editor can be reached at citydesk@unc.edu.

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