Brendan W. Clark ’21
The Hartford Police Department and Trinity College’s Campus Safety officers were dispatched to address an armed robbery and motor vehicle theft in the Trinity Commons parking lot the evening of Thursday, Sept. 12. Two Trinity students were the victims of the robbery, which occurred around 9:45 P.M. Subsequently, the stolen motor vehicle was involved in an accident, with two of the three suspects placed under arrest. A third suspect remains at large.
In an email to the community, Director of Campus Safety Brian Heavren noted that the three suspects were “male” and that the Trinity “students were not injured in the incident.” The students were approached while coming back to campus and heading “toward the Summit South dormitory.” The original email noted that the suspects “displayed a handgun” to induce compliance with their demands. The weapon has since been described as a “B.B. gun” and was recovered at the scene of the accident.”
Following the robbery, the students “fled into the Summit South dormitory” and the motor vehicle was involved “one to two minutes later in an accident.” As a result of the accident, Heavren noted, “two of these individuals [the suspects] were subsequently transported to the hospital and remain in police custody.” Heavren met with the Trinity community on Monday, Sept. 16 to address the concerns, adding that Campus Safety will “continue to assist the Hartford Police Department by providing as much information as we can and also reviewing our deployment in that area.”
Trinity College security is overseen by Campus Safety officers, the “majority of whom work the evening and midnight shifts, from 7:00 P.M. to 3:00 A.M.,” added Heavren. Further, Trinity deploys Securitas—a private security vendor—along Trinity’s roadways and walking paths as an additional level of protection. Lastly, noted Heavren, on “Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00 P.M. to 3:00 A.M. Trinity contracts with the Hartford Police Department to have officers in the campus vicinity.” Dean of Campus Life and Vice President for Student Affairs Joe DiChristina spoke to the Tripod and added that “this was a significant crime. Our students were held up at gun point.” DiChristina described the extent of the robbery and stated that “we are so thankful that the students were not physically hurt. I respect and commend them for their excellent decision-making during a very intense and frightening crime.”
Hartford Police Department Lieutenant Aaron Boisvert attended the community meeting and described incidents such as this as “crimes of opportunity.” Boisvert described the two suspects in custody as “juveniles, one 14 and one 17” and added that the stolen vehicle “has been seized for processing as part of the investigation.” Boisvert oversees the neighborhood around Trinity College and coordinates additional security at the College on Friday and Saturday evenings. Boisvert indicated that this is the first armed robbery on Trinity’s campus in more than two years.
As this information was relayed to the Trinity community through an email sent by Campus Safety labeled as a “timely warning,” Heavren also indicated that the “purpose behind timely warnings…is to provide information to others to prevent additional victimization” and noted that these warnings are important in the prevention of additional criminal actions across campus. Further, Boisvert added that “we have two suspects in custody and we will find the other one.”
Trinity College “does not take incidents such as this one lightly,” added Heavren, who also clarified in a follow-up email that Trinity’s “strong partnership with the HPD helps us to make decisions regarding the level of response needed during incidents like this.”
As additional information becomes available, the Tripod will update this story regarding the robbery on campus online as well as in print.