Two VCU students robbed at gunpoint

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond Police arrested two teenagers early Monday morning, after two VCU students were robbed at gunpoint near the Rite Aid at Broad and Belvidere.

These two teenagers asked the students if one of them could borrow their cell phone. Then one of the teenagers pulled out a gun and stole the student's handbag. This happened just off campus, but VCU Police say you will see them all over now that class is back in session.

Cat Wheelehan is one of many VCU students coming back on campus today. Like a lot of students, she says she has a lot on her mind.

"Getting my books, getting my life together," Wheelehan said. "Classes start in two days. That's been where my primary focus is."

Safety isn't always one of the main things these students are thinking about as they come back on campus.

Many students like Cat say they're shocked to hear that two students were robbed at gunpoint at this Rite Aid just off VCU's campus.

"It is a reality," she said. "It's an unfortunate reality. We do need to pay attention to it and make it part of our routine just to know it, not just to be afraid of it and walk around being terrified of it, but to be aware."

VCU's campus comes back alive with the start of the school year and VCU Police say they'll be out in force to make sure students are safe during their first week of classes.

"That's really our standard right now, to saturate the area with as much officer presence as you could possibly have," said Sgt. Nicole Dailey with VCU Police. "That's going to last before the semester and after. It's not just a beginning of the semester thing."

Police say student robberies were down 24% last year, but with more than 30,000 students enrolled this year, police and students know criminals will be keeping an eye out for students.

"Moving somewhere, you don't want to be afraid of where you live," Wheelehan said. "You do have to be aware of where you are, notice the lighting, notice who's around. You just have to open up and be aware of your surroundings."

There were police officers nearby when this latest robbery happened, so the suspects were arrested within a few minutes. The stolen handbag was returned to its rightful owner.

VCU Police recommend students stay away from carrying items like expensive electronics unless they have to.

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