STONY BROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police were investigating Wednesday after two students reported being robbed this week on the Stony Brook University campus.
The first incident occurred around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, Suffolk County police said.
One student told authorities he was walking along the bike path next to the athletic fields when he was approached by a group of men. One of the suspects displayed a knife and stole the victim’s cellphone and wallet, police said.
The suspects then fled on foot toward a Long Island Rail Road commuter parking lot, police said.
On Tuesday around 12:50 a.m., three students were walking in the same area when they were approached by two men who were wearing ski masks. One of the men took out what appeared to be an Airsoft gun and demanded money from the students, police said.
The suspects fled empty-handed toward Circle Road.
Police said one of the suspects in the second incident was wearing goggles that may have had a camera attached.
“We’re exploring the possibility that they’re students, but we’re leaving all our options open on who the suspects might be,” said Robert Lenahan, chief of police at Stony Brook University.
Police said they are investigating the possibility that the robberies are related, but have very little to go on. They are looking for two white males 18 to 21 years of age. One of the suspects is 5-foot-10 to 6-1; the other is 6-1 to 6-3.
A $5,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.
University police have stepped up patrols in the area, CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported. Students also received email alerts Wednesday night, and officers passed out fliers warning them of the armed robberies.
“We understand people’s concerns on campus in sending their kids away to school,” Lenahan said. “That’s why we want to be really aggressive.”
Students who walk, jog and bike through that area at night said they’re being more cautious.
“I would always just make sure you’re with a friend,” Stony Brook student Kevin Krause said. “Walking at night, don’t walk by yourself. You’re putting yourself as a target.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.
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