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TPD offers advice after alleged robbery

On June 18, 2012

In the wake of a case in which a UT student was charged with robbing four fellow students in their Dorr Street apartment, the IC asked the Toledo Police Department for tips students can follow to stay safe.

Police say two men, including Cassious Cook, 20, of Dayton allegedly entered the students’ apartment around 2:30 a.m. Saturday, May 5, through a back door that was left unlocked.

Cook allegedly held the victims up at gunpoint and ordered them on the floor.

After collecting several laptops, cell phones, wallets, a 40 inch LCD TV and a PlayStation 3 game console with controls and games, Cook allegedly ordered the victims into the bathroom and told them to turn off the lights, according to the police report.

Cook was caught when the victims chased down his car and flagged down an Ottawa Hills patrol car to assist. He was arrested and later charged with aggravated burglary.

There have been no updates on the other suspect.

These are safety tips provided by Sgt. Joseph Heffernan of the Toledo Police Department.

• Be watchful and careful of where you are, where you are going and who you are with. Heffernan said if students are more watchful of unlocked apartment and car doors, and of what time of night they are out, they can significantly reduce their chances of being attacked. Would-be criminals will target people and areas where the least amount of effort is required to commit a crime, he said.

• If you are the victim of a robbery, Heffernan advises not fighting back and simply giving the person what they are asking for. “Personal belongings can be replaced and are not worth getting hurt over,” he said.

• Although it’s stressful to be in that position, it’s important to focus on something that stands out about the perpetrator, Heffernan said. Look for hair styles, facial hair and clothing, and try to remember a detailed description of the person so they can be easily identified by the police.

• If you are directly threatened with violence and need to fight back, Heffernan said biting the attacker will cause involuntary release of their grip. He advises women to scream and talk while they are fighting, in case someone overhears and comes to help. Also, talking helps with breathing which allows a person to be more alert. Finally, if these things do not work, he advises going limp and allowing the body to become deadweight because a relaxed body is harder to move.


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