The Columbus Division of Police has made five arrests in relation to recent reports of crime off-campus.
While Columbus officers are still investigating an armed robbery reported near 15th and Indianola avenues Monday, arrests made Saturday were “related” to recently reported crimes that affected Greek Life members, according to a Thursday email from assistant director of Sorority and Fraternity Life Sharrell Hassell-Goodman sent to the Greek Life community.
An OSU student and member of Delta Gamma women’s fraternity reported a woman armed with a handgun robbed her Monday in the parking lot between her chapter’s house and the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity house. Delta Gamma’s house is located at 131 E. 15th Ave, and Phi Kappa Tau’s house is located at 141 E. 15th Ave.
A public safety notice was issued about the incident Tuesday at about 5 p.m.
Hassell-Goodman’s email recommended those with information contact a University Police officer, who referred The Lantern to Columbus Police for comment because the crime occurred in Columbus’ jurisdiction.
Columbus Police representatives did not immediately respond to calls requesting comment Thursday evening. Hassell-Goodman was not immediately available for comment Thursday.
Some students who live in the area where the reported armed robbery occurred said they don’t think the problem has to do with Greek Life specifically.
“The issue is not the fact that it was the Greek community in general,” said Thomas Young, a third-year in marketing and president of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. “It’s the fact that off-campus is obviously less safe than being on campus.”
Young said while there have been efforts made to increase awareness in the off-campus area, students have to change their mentality as well.
“Sometimes people still have the mindset of ‘It won’t happen to me,’ and I think that’s where, a lot of the time, the biggest issue comes,” he said. “The nature of it is that when you’re living off-campus in any sort of college area, you do have a chance of a crime or anything along those lines happening.”
Hassell-Goodman’s email pointed out the area’s risk as well.
“Ohio State is located in the 15th largest city in the U.S., and with that comes the safety concerns of an urban area,” the email read. “This does not diminish the seriousness of what has happened, but I want to underscore the importance of being mindful of your safety at all times.”
Other students in the area said they weren’t surprised when they heard about the reported Monday robbery.
“I’ve seen a couple of crimes before in other areas near the Greek community, but not directly involving them, so I’m not shocked that it happened,” said Andrew Perry, a third-year in biology and vice president of philanthropy and service for Phi Kappa Tau. “It’s kind of scary, honestly, an armed robbery right next to my house.”
Emily Cocks, a second-year in marketing and member of Delta Delta Delta women’s fraternity, said because she lives in her chapter’s house, located at 229 E. 15th Ave., hearing reports of crimes made her nervous.
“I’m more uncomfortable walking out of the house and walking to school,” Cocks said. “I’m a little bit more on edge, but I think they’re doing a pretty decent job informing people.”
Daniel Fyffe contributed to this story.