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Fordham in the Bronx

 

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STUDENTS DILIGENT, CALM, REGARDING NEIGHBORHOOD BURGLARIES

“The NYPD has launched a search for the suspect who burglarized six homes near Fordham University in the Bronx.”  This lead-in for a CBS New York news story less than one month ago, on Oct. 20, documents just one of many security threats in the Belmont neighborhood since the beginning of this semester.

A man had been entering apartments through first-floor windows and stealing property, from residences located in the vicinity of 188th and Hoffman.  Hundreds of Rose Hill students live in the Belmont area, just south of Rose Hill, yet some students had not heard of crimes.

“No, I haven’t heard about that,” Cori Ring, FCRH ’13, said. “Fordham doesn’t really do local news, so I had no idea about the robberies.”  Ring moved into a first-floor apartment near 189th and Arthur at the beginning of the semester.  Despite not knowing about the burglaries, her landlord just put cast-iron bars over the windows last month. Ring says she feels safer with the bars.

“It made sense,” Ring said. “We’re on the first floor and we’re girls. Everyone else has bars.”

Such is the life for many students in off-campus housing.  The NYPD’s 48th precinct, encompassing Fordham’s campus, the Belmont area and areas south extending to the Cross-Bronx Expressway, have seen 169 burglaries and 375 robberies so far in 2012, according to the city’s CompStat program.  These numbers are noticeably lower than the surrounding precincts, but slightly higher than those from last year, which had 163 burglaries and 338 robberies at this point in 2011.

Ring said she is not too worried.  She lives very close to The Hookah Spot, a 24-hour convenience store on Arthur Avenue, and feels like the workers there keep an eye on suspicious activity in the area.

“They look out for us and they’re really good neighbors,” Leila Nabizadeh, FCRH ’13, said, in agreement with Ring.

While she relies on diligent neighbors, the number of burglaries surprises Nabizadeh.

“I know that there are issues on that corner [188th and Hoffman], that it’s not really the best part, but I didn’t know of there being so many break-ins,” Nabizadeh said.

Still, Nabizadeh said she feels safe, thanks to the heavy NYPD presence at “tri-bar” on 189th and Arthur and the security at nearby Fordham-owned housing.

Michael Prate, FCRH ’13, lives in the Fordham-owned Terra Nova House near 189th and Hoffman.  He has heard of the burglaries on his street, but says he has never felt unsafe, despite his location.  A guard stays at the gate all night, and the property is separated from the street by a tall wall and fence.

“It’s virtually impossible to get in unless a student lets you in,” Prate said.

Overall, Ring said she feels safe as she closes her third semester living off-campus.  “It doesn’t take a genius to stay safe,” she said.

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