ATHENS, Ga. -- During a nine-day period of November, eight University of Georgia students fell victim to robberies.
Several of the robberies occurred as students walked to or from downtown, and all but one of them were armed robberies.
To combat future hold-ups, Athens-Clarke County police said they have placed additional officers in the area.
“We’ve certainly taken notice of what’s happened and we already were focusing our efforts and resources to reduce robberies,” Athens-Clarke police Maj. Mike Hunsinger said on Monday. “Anytime we get an uptick like this we put officers where they need to be.”
An arrest was made in the most recent armed robbery that took place early Saturday. The two victims had not yet even reported the thefts of their wallets.
When searching the suspect, 22-year-old Ryne Dion Forte, officers said they found wallets belonging to the students.
Due to similarities, police said they are investigating the possibility that Forte was involved in the robbery of four UGA students on Nov. 7 in Athens.
UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said that robberies can possibly be avoided if students took simple precautions such as not getting overly intoxicated.
They also should travel in large groups when walking.
Authorities try to get that message across annually, he said, but it’s difficult to get students to heed advice when there are thousands of new faces at UGA and other area colleges each year.