Police videos warn UT students about crime near campus

TAMPA - When you're in college, putting one foot in front of the other is sometimes the best way to travel.

"Friday night there was a frat party or something like that, so a group of us from my floor wanted to go," said  University of Tampa sophomore Esteban Roman.

He learned last September when he was a freshman, walking is sometimes a convenience that's just not worth it.

"It said it was about a mile away on somebody's iPhone. We decided to walk," he said. "Two guys came from behind a telephone pole and a palm tree that were really close together. I guess it was a good place to hide. They just came up to us, one had a gun, one didn't," said Roman.

The late-night armed robbery suspects took cash but spared the students' lives along North Boulevard -- a street that borders UT's campus.  Later, Tampa police arrested four men.

UT Classmate Ryan McCall wasn't as fortunate.  In 2009, a suspect shot the track star to death as he walked home with friends in the same area.

Both crimes have sparked a new partnership between Tampa Police and the University of Tampa.

"We're just saying be cognizant, not only of your location, but of the time. You know, take a cab if possible," said Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor.

The Chief's message is now in video form. The short movie will be shown to UT students at campus events.

"We'll have it on the website. We're sending it to parents. We'll be using it at campus events so if we're showing a late-night movie, we'll show it as a trailer," said UT's Dean of Student Stephanie Russell Holz.

Roman just hopes his classmates are listening.

"After it happened, I thought about it all the time. I would get really paranoid. It took me a while to go out again," he said.

Watch the short video below or visit http://youtu.be/agu307lIjh4 .

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