Washington University sends alert after staff member robbed at Metrolink

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Washington University sent alert to students and staff Wednesday morning about a potential threat to safety at the Danforth Campus.

A staff member was robbed at around 7:00 a.m., according to the school’s emergency management website.

Taulby Roach, Bi-State Development President Ceo, said crimes of opportunity are truly disappointing.

“The reason I’m here and why we are all working so hard is that we’re accountable for all those incidents,” he said. “We want to solve them while keeping our system safe.”

The robbery happened in the stairwell of the MetroLink Big Bend platform. The victim ran as he chased her towards Forest Park Parkway. He tackled the woman, stole her cellphone, then fled.

University security said that the suspect was potentially on campus. The university was placed on lockdown at 7:45 a.m. The lockdown was lifted at around 8:00 a.m. after police said the suspect fled the area.

The suspect, a 30-year-old man, was later identified and arrested. He has not yet been charged.

“Just five hours after incident our professional police partners worked with Metro public safety getting video and found out who the perpetrator was,” Roach said.

Roach said he rides the Metro every day and believes it's safe but also understands that notion that perception can sometimes be the reality.

"Just like the city evolves, our transit system should evolve, and safety should evolve, and how we police should evolve, and this day that evolution succeeded," he said.

Roach credited the arrest as a direct result of the collaborative effort with Metro Transit Public Safety, the Washington University Police Department, the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

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