Police statistics show robberies increasing in Iowa City - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police statistics show robberies increasing in Iowa City

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Kirsten Salonika is a senior at the University of Iowa and walks around Iowa City every day. She feels safe doing so.

"During the day for the most part I don't have a problem," said Salonika. "Usually on weekends sometimes I make sure I'm with someone."

That's a basic safety tip police recommend for everyone. It can prevent you from becoming a victim of a crime like a strong armed robbery. That's when someone comes up to you-- they push you, or maybe hit you, and take something.

"Whether it's a simple push, somebody punching you in the face, it basically boils down to the perpetrator didn't have a weapon," said Sgt. Vicki Lalla with the Iowa City Police Department.

A weapon makes it an armed robbery. There's been an increase in both in Iowa City.

Here's a look at the numbers.
2010: 42
2011: 25
2012: 41
2013: 62

Police say the low number of 25 in 2011 was an anomaly. Though police don't know why the numbers are climbing, they recommend walking in groups, being aware of your surroundings, and avoiding distractions like your phone. Something else that could put you at risk of being a victim of a strong armed robbery is walking around drunk. Police say if you've been out and you've had a few too many, don't walk home. Take a cab."

"They present an opportunity for somebody to run up and snatch their phone or take their wallet," said Lalla.

Twenty-one-year-old Salonika has never has never been a victim and neither have her friends.

"I don't really worry too much about it," said Salonika.

An armed robbery is a Class B Felony. Strong armed robberies are considered Second Degree Robberies, a Class "C" Felony.

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