GSUPD increases officers after multiple library thefts

It seems like even the library isn’t safe anymore. A Georgia State student was robbed at gunpoint in the Georgia State library on Jan. 14 at 9:15 a.m., according to a Georgia State Campus Crime Alert.

The student was in a private study room on the 4th floor, when the suspect pulled out a handgun, told the him to get on the floor and stole his computer and cell phone. Then the suspect ran toward a stairway exit, according to 11 Alive.

Deputy Chief Carlton Mullis of the Georgia State University Police Department (GSUPD) said the department has increased their patrol of plainclothes and uniformed officers in the library. GSUPD has also added security to both library entrances.

“We’re following every lead and hope to make an arrest soon,” he said.

Mullis said surveillance cameras are being examined, yet there are no leads at the moment.

Major Anthony Coleman of GSUPD said the victim did not know the suspect, and the possibility of the suspect being a student hasn’t been ruled out.

“A daytime robbery is strange and also unique, considering it has only happened one other time in a secure building, like the library,” he said.

This incident isn’t the only time a student’s possessions have been stolen in the library since the beginning of the new year.

On Jan. 7, a Georgia State student reported being robbed after 3 p.m. The victim’s computer and cell phone cost more than $500, according to police reports.

Security patrols were increased after the Jan. 7 incidents, according to campus crime alerts. Coleman could not comment on the patrol schedule.

“That’s a tough question,” he said, “because if the schedule is released to the public, it’s like giving the criminals a heads-up.”

Mullis said in both incidents this month, the victim was isolated.

“We know students sometimes want to study on their own, ” he said. “That may be a part of it.”

Taz Talley, Georgia State english major, said she was shocked at the incident, but feels relieved security has been increased. She also said visitation rules should be tightened.

“When I actually realized the incident was close by, I wondered about security,” she said. “The incident could have ended violently [for the student].”

Talley also said she thinks the library and security should keep a closer eye on non Georgia State library patrons, and wishes the victim well. She also suggested for there to be metal detectors.

“Anyone who is fidgeting with their pockets, looking around, or appearing lost, the staff should reach out to them [in the library],” she said.

The suspect for the Jan. 14 incident has been described as a black male, 6 feet tall, weighing 180 lbs. with a beard and low style haircut, wearing khaki pants, dark blue jacket and white shoes.

Coleman said a composite sketch will be released to the public on Wednesday.

Jeff Steely, dean of Libraries at Georgia State, said the library is committed to maintaining a safe and productive environment for students, staff and faculty.

Steely also said the library and its staff depends on GSUPD and will be meeting with Mullis soon.

“My leadership team will be meeting with the Chief of Police to discuss these recent events and library security as a whole in the next few days,” he said.