Keeping an eye out around campus
Robbery spree hits campus
Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2013 16:09
The night of Aug. 27 was a wild one for Omaha police, as a group of teenage robbers held up 10 different people in usually calm parts of the city, including University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Pacific St. campus.
Starting at 7:40 p.m., officers responded to multiple calls for personal robberies, authorities said. The reports came in from victims, mostly on foot, describing a group of men in a blue or silver sedan. The calls didn’t stop coming in until just before 1 a.m. the next day.
The spree was a wild flash that covered a lot of ground around the greater Omaha area. From Midtown to the UNO area up to Benson and back toward Midtown, the band of robbers used their numbers and, allegedly, a gun to get cash and random goods off of their victims.
In less than a day, though, police were able to make three arrests, causing the accused bandits’ thrill to be short-lived.
For now, teenagers Baling Dat, 16, Nhial Wool, 16, and Gach Thichiot, 17, sit in jail. They are each facing eight counts of robbery and two counts of attempted robbery. Friday, a judge set their bail at $1 million.
International student Farhod Rahmatov was the last victim hit by the group of thieves. Traveling alone near 35th and Dodge streets, Rahmatov said a car pulled up alongside him. After the group of robbers got out of the car, Rahmatov said they brandished a gun and asked for his cash.
“I told them ‘I have no cash.’ I’m a poor college student,” Rahmatov said. “They took the rest of my things, didn’t want them, then took off.”
Rahmatov said the suspects then stepped back into their vehicle to exit the scene, all while pointing the gun at him.
Thankfully, he wasn’t hurt in the incident. As he talked about the ordeal, Rahmatov reflected on the act and society in general.
“Crime does not differentiate race and social status.”
On campus or off, especially at night, incidents such as these are an important reminder for a larger awareness of public safety campus security representatives said.
“People need to be more-vigilant when walking around campus at night,” said Paul Kosel, manager of Campus Security. “It’s always best to travel in pairs or groups.”
All students received alerts of the incidents shortly after the one near 67th and Frances Street occurred on UNO’s south campus this past Monday morning. Students received the alert through the university’s emergency text messaging and emailing system, which notifies all students of any incidents as soon as possible.
Kosel also said that campus security is always a phone call away for an escort to a car if anyone is uneasy on campus.
“We’re here day and night,” Kosel said. “If anyone is ever uneasy to go to their car alone, just remember that this is what we’re here for.”