Students victims of robbery in downtown Bryn Mawr

Alissa Ricci

Two upperclassmen students were robbed by an unknown individual in downtown Bryn Mawr at approximately 10:30 p.m. on the evening of Oct. 24.

This incident marks the second reported robbery involving Villanova students this year, according to Director of Public Safety Dave Tedjeske.

They were walking in a group of eight students that night, headed from Home Properties of Bryn Mawr, an off-campus apartment complex, to the bars on Lancaster Avenue.

The group crossed County Line Road to Thomas Avenue.

When they reached 23 Thomas Avenue, an unknown individual approached them.

The individual is thought to have emerged from behind two parked cars. According to the Department of Public Safety, the physical description given by the Lower Merion Police Department describes the individual as male, dark-skinned, between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall, in his late twenties or early thirties.

He was dressed in black clothing and wore a long black trench coat.

The man first approached seniors Justin Pincus, Adam Lowry and Katie Wishbow. He indicated that he had a gun underneath his coat and demanded their belongings.

Pincus resisted and the man punched him.

“When I got the impression he had a gun I had no choice but to just drop my wallet,” Lowry said. “He was right in my face so I was pretty scared at that point.”

Wishbow also witnessed the scene firsthand.

“My roommates had run towards Lancaster Avenue, but I was frozen and afraid that running away would cause me to be shot,” said Katie Wishbow.

The man then turned to Wishbow and demanded her money. Wishbow carried a clutch pursue and accidentally tossed it underneath a nearby parked car. The man screamed at her to hand it over.

By this point, most of the group had run towards Lancaster Avenue in an attempt to flee.Senior Sean Cunningham walked at the front of the group and was not directly involved in a confrontation with the man.

“I was ahead of everyone else, so my reaction was to go get the police because I was not in close proximity to what happened,” said Cunningham.

Pincus and Lowry also sought help.

“I called 911,” Lowry said. “A couple of people I was with went to Lancaster Avenue to grab some cops and they responded quickly, just as I was hanging up with 911.”

Pincus ran towards Lancaster Avenue in search of police. He also warned people at bars about the mugging.

By this point, the man fled from the scene of the crime with Wishbow’s clutch purse and Lowry’s wallet.

Stolen items included Lowry’s WildCard, $125 check, two driver’s licenses, one cell phone, numerous debit and credit cards, one gift card and approximately $85 in cash.

The Lower Merion Police responded to the robbery. The matter is still under investigation.

The Department of Public Safety became aware of the robbery early on Sunday morning.

Director of Public Safety Dave Tedjeske proceeded to send an e-mail to students and faculty.

“The incident occurred off-campus, but Public Safety wanted to make students aware of the incident so they could take necessary precautions,” Tedjeske said.

Tedjeske recalled the Sept. 21 attempted robbery between South Ithan Avenue and South Campus. Two male students were assaulted by three unknown males. However, no items were stolen and no injuries occurred.

The most recent completed on-campus robbery occurred in 2007.

“No piece of property is worth a serious injury or your life,” said Tedjeske.

He feels that the students acted as safely and responsibly given the circumstances.

The students involved had a mixture of reactions.

“I never heard of stuff like that happening around here, so I was very surprised,” Lowry said. “Now I’m angry that I have to deal with getting new [credit] cards, driver’s license and so on. In the end, I guess these things happen. I’m happy I didn’t get hurt.”

“I am still in shock,” Wishbow said. “We took all the typical precautions. We went out in a big group that included men. It was still relatively early at night and we were walking in a familiar place.”