Series of attacks may be related

Published 08/21 2013 11:41AM

Updated 08/21 2013 11:55AM

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- Police say three separate random acts of violence happened this week. One included a victim being robbed at gunpoint. The suspects were on bikes. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera has more.

Investigators think the same people are behind the crimes. Authorities say the descriptions match and all three happened on or around the UI campus. So, they want people to keep their eyes peeled.

"It's a little mind-boggling," said University of Illinois student Joseph Gonzalez. "It's dangerous. You've got to definitely keep your eyes open for anything weird that happens."

UI students like Gonzalez say they can't believe what happened this past weekend.

"There were three different incidents where individuals were battered and robbed," said University of Illinois Police Captain Roy Acree. 

The first was just before 3 am on Saturday near Wright and Springfield.

"A person was beaten up, punched," said Acree. 

Investigators say the next robbery happened just one block away about 8 pm. Three people on bikes came after someone in the parking lot near Mathews and Springfield.

"A subject was actually struck in the back of the head with a pistol and was injured," said Acree. 

The third happened just over the border in Champaign by First and Healey an hour later.

"A subject was kicked and punched and thrown on the ground," said Acree. 

Authorities say the one of the suspects stand out from most other UI students. He's 6'6" and was wearing a t-shirt and shorts.

Students say crime won't stop them from doing what they need to do on campus. But police say they're trying to wrap up this case as soon as they can.

"It would be great if we could come up with some arrests prior to school actually kicking off," said Acree. 

Investigators say the victims are doing fine. There were two or three suspects for each and the 6'6" man is one of them. Anyone with information is asked to call police.

With students returning to campus, police have tips to keep in mind. Pay attention to your surroundings while walking. Take off your headphones, walk in groups if you're out late and let roommates or other people know where you are going to be.

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