By now, most residents are aware of several crimes that have been committed in apartment communities all over the Fort Wayne area.
A woman was leaving her apartment by herself when the man approached her. “She turned around to lock the door, and this guy’s just there” in the foyer of the building, said Racquel Foster, a police spokeswoman.
“She screamed, and he just took off running,” Foster said.
The woman was not hurt, and the man did not take anything
Along with the black ski mask, the man was wearing blue jeans and a dark blue hooded sweatshirt.
The Apartment Association of Fort Wayne-NE Indiana has issued a statement urging apartment residents to be aware of their surroundings and to report suspicious people and activity to police and property managers.
Descriptions of suspicious people and their vehicles, including the make, model, color and license plate numbers, will help police, the statement said.
The statement also noted that police are especially concerned about these crimes, and are anxious to get any solid information and descriptions they can. Please call the police if you see anything or anyone suspicious. It is a good idea to get to know your neighbors, and where they usually park their cars so that you can tell if someone is walking or driving around who doesn’t live here.
The robberies started Jan. 7, and victims have usually been alone at night in parking lots or near building entrances. Similar details suggest the robberies are related, but investigators have not found a definitive link between them.
Because of differences in the descriptions of robbers and other facts, police do not believe the same one or two people are committing all the holdups.
The staff of Poplar Ridge Apartments is on full alert to watch for suspicious people and behaviors. We’ve also surveyed our lighting to make sure we have as much lighting in our parking areas as possible. Report any lights that are not working directly to the office.
While the police work on solving these incidents, here is a list of things you can do to protect your safety:
- Don’t walk or jog early in the morning or late at night when the streets are deserted.
- When out at night, try to have a friend walk with you.
- Carry only the money you’ll need on a particular day.
- Don’t display your cash or any other inviting targets such as pagers, cell phones, hand-held electronic games, or expensive jewelry and clothing.
- If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. If the person continues to follow you, move quickly toward an open store or restaurant or a lighted house. Don’t be afraid to yell for help.
- Try to park in well-lighted areas with good visibility and close to walkways, stores, and people.
- Make sure you have your key out as you approach your door.
- Always lock your car, even if it’s in your own driveway; never leave your motor running.
- Do everything you can to keep a stranger from getting into your car or to keep a stranger from forcing you into his or her car.
- If someone tries to rob you, give up your property—don’t give up your life.
- If you are robbed or assaulted, report the crime to the police. Try to describe the attacker accurately. Your actions can help prevent someone else from becoming a victim.