A robbery outside the USF Library may cause students to think twice about taking advantage of its newly extended overnight hours.
After an unidentified man was struck in the face and robbed of his laptop around 6 a.m. Wednesday near the Library’s loading dock, University Police (UP) spokeswoman Lt. Meg Ross said patrols will frequent the facility often now that it is open 24 hours, five days a week.
Ross said she was unaware of any similar incidents around the Library since the extended hours began, and UP plans on being “more vigilant” of the area.
“We haven’t had anything like this in quite a while,” Ross said. “We’ll be picking up patrol in the area of the Library. We notified Allied Barton to pick up patrol as well.”
Allied Barton, the private security firm patrolling USF, has two guards posted inside the Library overnight, said Dennis Smith, library manager of access services.
One is at the front door checking student IDs, and the other checks the floor, he said. Allied Barton also usually patrols outside the Library, Smith said.
The victim was walking from parking lot 29B by the loading dock when he was approached from behind, Ross said.
The suspect struck the victim in the face, causing him to fall, and stole his laptop and carrying case. The suspect then fled through the area between Cooper Hall and the Communications and Information Sciences building.
The suspect’s race is unknown and the victim could only identify that he was wearing dark clothes.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office brought in a canine unit to search for the suspect but was unsuccessful, Ross said.
“We don’t have many robberies and when we do we take notice and take a lot of efforts solving them,” Ross said. “We’ll be checking to see if there’s any footage from security cameras. If anyone calls with information, we’ll be following up with those leads as well.”
Ross said students can report any unusual incidents to UP immediately by calling the USFPD Criminal Investigation Division at 813-974-2628. Anonymous tips go to 813-974-TIPS.