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University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

Robbery and carjacking in campus parking lot

Cynthia Harbott
Overlooking CSULA parking lot from structure E.

On Friday, March 1, the Department of Public Safety notified students that an attempted robbery and car theft occurred around 6:30 p.m. in parking Lot 4. 

The suspect approached the victim, who remains unidentified, while she was parked and charging her electric vehicle, according to the victim’s statements. 

The suspect has been identified as Abenezer Halilu, a Cal State LA student who tried to threaten the victim into giving up her belongings. The victim refused to comply with his demands and drove out of the parking structure, seeking help elsewhere from a fellow bystander. 

Halilu then fled on foot towards the old Administration building on campus. Both victim and bystander made their way on foot toward campus in an attempt to locate him before heading back toward the parking lot. 

Upon returning to Parking Lot 4, the victim noticed that Halilu had begun driving away in her vehicle, hitting the victim with her own car before fleeing the scene. She sustained minor injuries but did not require immediate hospitalization, according to the campus-wide email sent by the Public Safety Department. 

According to Public Safety, Halilu was taken into custody. 

For public health major Ryan Talatham, the incident raises concerns about student safety on campus as a result of the incident. 

“I did feel somewhat worried not only for my safety but other student’s safety as well – especially for students who have night classes where there aren’t as many students or people on campus,” Talatham said. “I have had a couple of friends who took night classes, and they would tell me how some of the lights weren’t working and how scary it was to walk back to their cars.”

Business Management major Arianna Torres-Morales shares the same sentiment. 

“It’s really scary to hear about either robberies or attempted robberies at school, especially because I dorm; I’m never sure if I’m safe walking back to my room at night,” Morales said. “I also wish the school took our safety more seriously instead of putting all their efforts into parking services.”

Car theft has increased by 6.4% in the past year, a dismal number in light of the recent crime on campus, according to statistics published by the Los Angeles Police Department. 

The Public Safety Department refused to comment as the case is still ongoing. The Los Angeles Police Department was also unavailable for comments. 

Despite an uptick in crime trends, Cal State LA will continue to provide services for students to ensure their safety. University Police offer an escorting service so students can make it to their cars safely, which is offered 24/7. Counseling services are also made available through online appointments. For questions and concerns, the Department of Public Safety can be reached at (323) 343-3700

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Cynthia Harbott
Cynthia Harbott, Multimedia Reporter

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