Santa Monica College recently experienced an unprecedented spree of violent crimes committed against SMC students.
The first incident took place on Tuesday, March 15, in the Cayton Center. According to Santa Monica College Police Officer Mike Champagne, two male adults kicked down a stall door in the men's restroom at approximately 5 p.m.
They proceeded to rob the victim of $51, and threatened him with physical violence.
No suspects were caught in the attack, and the victim was not
Later that night at 6:04 p.m., a male suspect brandishing a 10- to12-inch
stiletto knife threatened to stab a male student walking on the corner of 17th Street and Pico Boulevard. He then robbed the student of $40, and fled the scene.
No suspect was caught in the crime.
Police believe these two incidents were not related. The same night, at 7:30 p.m. Santa Monica College Police were dispatched to a call of assault and battery on campus.
When officers arrived at scene, they determined it was a male and
female couple, who were apparently involved in a domestic dispute.
Officers warned the couple, but no arrests were made.
On Wednesday, March 16, at 7:20 a.m. in the parking lot structure located on Pico near 14th Street, police believe the same male suspect again attempted to assault a student riding a bike.
The man on the bike resisted, however, managing to hit the suspect
on the head with a book bag. The suspect fled the scene, and the man
was not hurt.
The suspect in the attacks is described as a 6'1 African-American
male, thick built, with a clean shaven face.
He is described as having very short dark hair, and was seen in both attacks dressed in a long black jacket, with a baggy white shirt, and light colored sweat pants.
"We don't believe he's an SMC student," Champagne said. "Right now, we put out a state broadcast on our computers to all law enforcement
Santa Monica Police Department robbery detectives are also
investigating the case, trying to catch the suspect, according to Champagne.
Over the weekend, on Saturday, March 19, someone broke into the Corsair Track and Field equipment locker, and stole five starting blocks from the team, which were valued at $180 each.
No suspects were caught, and Santa Monica College Police are investigating the theft.
Other than these crimes, no other major crimes have been reported on
"We've had a few petty thefts, some minor vandalism, and only a few
parking disputes," Champagne said.
According to Champagne, the best way to protect yourself against theft and becoming a victim of any crime is to be aware of your surroundings
at all times.
"We have an open campus, so people who don't belong here can
walk on campus at any time, so the best advice to students is to always have your guard up," he said.
Champagne also added that fighting back in certain situations is not the safest of actions.
"Our advice is to cooperate. It's way better to lose your spare cash, then to get stabbed or killed. It's just not worth it," he said.
These crimes may come as a shock to many Santa Monica College
students, who normally feel safe on campus. However, some students
Though she admits it is scary that such crimes occurred on campus, Santa Monica College student Elizabeth Kelso said, "SMC is my home. It's
never really a big concern to me. I never feel unsafe here."