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At about 7:45 PM on Thursday, February16, 2017, a Tufts graduate student reported to the Tufts University Police Department that he had been the victim of an unarmed robbery.  He related that about 15 minutes earlier, while walking on Oak Street between Washington Street and Harrison Avenue, he was approached by a male who asked him what time it was.  The victim removed his phone from his front pocket, checked and relayed the time to the male and returned the phone to his front pocket. After walking on a few steps the suspect came from behind him, reached into his pocket and grabbed his phone.  After a short struggle the suspect fled toward Washington Street with the victim’s IPhone. The victim was not physically injured.

Tufts University and Boston Police Departments immediately searched the area for the suspect to no avail.

The suspect was described by the victim as a black male, 6 feet, 3 inches tall with a thin build,  wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants, black sneakers with no facial hair and may have been wearing a red shirt under the sweatshirt.

While victims of crime are never to blame for criminal activity, there are some precautions that can be taken:


  • Remain alert and observant of the people around you. If you think someone is following you, move quickly toward an open store or restaurant. Don’t be afraid to call out for help.
  • Walk with purpose, head up, no earbuds and don’t be distracted by electronic devices.
  • Stick to well-lit and well-travelled routes and walk with friends whenever possible.
  • Utilize the SafeRide service.  Members of the Boston Health Sciences campus can dial Tufts Police at (617) 636-6610 or from a campus phone dial X-66610.
  • Program the Tufts Police number into your cell phone so you will be prepared in an emergency (617-627-6911).
  • Report any suspicious persons or circumstances to Tufts Police immediately at 617-627-6911 or x66911 from an on-campus phone, or dial 911 for off campus emergencies.

Anyone with information related to these incidents is asked to call Boston Police detectives directly at (617) 343-4248. Community members wanting to assist in the investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1(800)494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463) or you can contact the Tufts Police at 617-636-6610 from off-campus or a cell phone. From a Health Sciences or Medford/Somerville campus phone, dial X-66610.