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Police urge caution after student is robbed at gunpoint

The Department of Public Safety is urging students to take extra caution after a woman was robbed at gunpoint on campus Wednesday night.

The robbery took place about 10 p.m. in the parking lot adjacent to Toyon Hall, police officials reported. The victim, an undergraduate student, was walking to her car when two men approached her. After talking with the student briefly, one of the suspects pointed a small handgun at her and asked her to get into her car, police said. After she complied, they asked her for all her money, which she surrendered. Then they fled. The woman did not recognize the two men and was unharmed, police said. She called the police, who searched the area but did not locate the suspects.

The men were described as black, both approximately 18 years old. One was about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighed approximately 175 pounds, with a medium build, dark eyes, black, short, curly hair and a very short goatee. He was last seen wearing a dark bandanna, worn like a sweatband on his head, a white long-sleeved T-shirt and black baggy cargo pants.

The second suspect was described as 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing approximately 175 pounds, with a medium build, dark eyes, black, short, curly hair and no facial hair. He was last seen wearing a dark baseball cap, a black-and-white collared shirt with horizontal stripes and dark baggy pants.

This case is under investigation and the two men remain at large. A sketch artist has been contacted and is working with campus police detectives, Deputy Kenneth Bates said. The Department of Public Safety urges anyone with information about the incident to contact the dispatch center at 329-2413.

According to Bates, the last reported incident similar to this was in 1998, when a handgun was used in a robbery in a case that did not involve a Stanford student.

"Last night's incident appears to have been a random and isolated occurrence," Bates said Thursday.

He encouraged students and others, whether on campus or not, to observe the following safety precautions:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Call 5-SURE (725-7873) for rides on campus from 9 p.m. until 1:30 a.m.
  • At night, walk in well-lighted pedestrian routes.
  • While on the campus, familiarize yourself with the locations of the tall blue emergency telephone towers.
  • Employ the "buddy system" when walking at night.
  • Try to avoid things that may lessen your sense of awareness: cell phones, personal music listening devices, reading, etc.
  • Refer to the Stanford Department of Public Safety's "Safety and Security 2005 Almanac" for more information about personal and property security at
  • "We encourage members of the campus community to report suspicious activity by dialing 911, or 9-911 from any campus phone," Bates added.

    Campus officer apprehends armed suspect in earlier incident

    Wednesday’s robbery followed an incident that took place Tuesday, May 9, in which authorities arrested a man who allegedly was involved in a commercial burglary at the Stanford Shopping Center.

    According to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect fled through the main campus on a motorized scooter. A Stanford deputy later spotted him and gave chase. The deputy was able to restrain the suspect, who had brandished a sawed-off shotgun, with the help of a passer-by, police said.

    Chad McCall, 35, was placed under arrest on suspicion of assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon, brandishing a firearm at a police officer, possession of an illegal firearm and possession of stolen property. The Sheriff’s Office is investigating that case.

    Department of Public Safety