A woman was robbed Thursday morning in North Baltimore one block away from a mugging that took place the day before, continuing a trend of recent street robberies that worry police.
Sometime after 8 a.m., three men described as being in their early 20s walked past the victim in the 300 block of Wyman Park Drive in the Remington neighborhood before one of them turned and snatched the woman's purse hanging on her right shoulder, Baltimore police said.
The woman resisted and was dragged on the sidewalk before the suspects fled on foot with the purse, which carried the victim's cell phone, credit cards, keys and other belongings.
Police said the man who grabbed the purse was described as a 5-foot-11, 160-pound, black man wearing a white T-shirt and bright blue jeans. Police said the suspects were unarmed.
Johns Hopkins University campus security officials reported that witnesses saw the suspects get in a brown or gold Volvo that Baltimore police reported stolen — but Baltimore police spokeswoman Detective Angela Carter-Watson said no mention of a possible getaway car in the incident was in initial police reports.
One block away, a man was robbed Wednesday while jogging in the 400 block of Wyman Park Drive. Several similar street robberies, where a group of suspects are accosting joggers and pedestrians before fleeing in nearby cars, have been reported across the city in recent weeks. One man was shot Wednesday during a robbery attempt in Roland Park.
Police statistics show that street robberies are up 6 percent this year, and Baltimore police have responded by increasing patrols.
In an email to faculty and staff, Ed Skrodzki, executive director of Johns Hopkins' Homewood campus safety and security, said college security personnel will be dispatching more guards on foot and in motor patrols around the edges of campus.
"These have been crimes of opportunity, in which groups of perpetrators, often driving in stolen vehicles, apparently have cruised around looking for victims walking or running alone," Skrodzki wrote. "The criminals strike quickly and leave the scene quickly to minimize the chance of the victim getting a good description. … In a number of cases, the aim of the robbery has been to steal the victim's smart phone."
Skrodzki told students and staff to conceal their smart phones in public and to be aware of their surroundings if they must use them. He also said joggers and walkers should refrain from listening to headphones.