Crime

Second cellphone robbery in week at Western Washington University

Students move into Buchanan Towers at Western Washington University on Sept. 17, 2011. Police are investigating a cellphone robbery that happened outside the residence hall on Sunday, April 17, 2016, the second such robbery in the last week.
Students move into Buchanan Towers at Western Washington University on Sept. 17, 2011. Police are investigating a cellphone robbery that happened outside the residence hall on Sunday, April 17, 2016, the second such robbery in the last week. The Bellingham Herald

For the second time in less than a week, a man snatched a cellphone from a woman’s hand on the Western Washington University campus and ran away.

The man approached two women at the bus stop outside Buchanan Towers at the south end of campus at about 1 a.m. Sunday, April 17, according to a university alert sent out around 3:15 a.m. Sunday. The women, both 18, were WWU students, said university spokesman Paul Cocke.

The man asked the women if they knew when the bus would arrive, then snatched an iPhone 4S from one of the women’s hands. He took off south past the Viking Gardens Apartments toward 24th Street, according to the alert.

The suspect was described as black, 5-foot-11 with a thin build, short hair, wearing a gray sweatshirt, dark pants and a gray beanie cap, with a green sweatshirt tied around his waist.

The incident was nearly identical to another that happened at about 9:45 p.m. Sunday, April 10, at the same location. The suspect in that report had a very similar description.

Both WWU and Bellingham police are investigating the incident. Despite the similarities between the two incidents, police can’t say with certainty that it’s the same person, Cocke said.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

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