Off-campus robbery prompts full search of University grounds

An armed robbery in close proximity to the University caused the first Pirate Alert of the spring semester to be sent at 11:45 p.m. Friday, March 23.

The suspects approached the Wilden Place gate around 10:45 p.m., after committing the robbery by Ward Place and Irvington Avenue, according to the alert.

According to Patrick Linfante, associate vice president for Public Safety and Security, the victim involved was not a Seton Hall student.

A Public Safety and Security employee reported the presence of the suspects three minutes before the South Orange Police Department contacted Public Safety around 10:45 p.m.

The suspects, who were described as three black males wearing black hoodies, one with a baseball cap, were seen by the South Orange Police Department close to the baseball field.

The alert was sent out because the suspects were last seen approaching the fence, which police ultimately assumed was too high to climb, Linfante said.

Campus was searched by SOPD and declared all clear around 12:11 a.m. Ivy Hill Park was also searched soon after, according to Linfante.

SOPD recovered an airsoft gun used in the robbery that was thrown between the yards of 417 and 421 Wilden. The gun never landed inside the campus gate.

“The weapon was not a firearm in the true sense of being a firearm,” Linfante said. “It could have been a pellet gun.”

Four police cars could be seen parked outside the Wilden Place gate as of 11 p.m. that night.

The search was conducted not because the suspects or weapon entered campus property, rather due to the proximity of the incident, according to Linfante.

“The alert and search of campus were precautionary measures that confirmed our assumption that the suspects did not enter the gate or climb the fence,” Linfante said.

No injuries were reported due to the incident.

Charlotte Lewis can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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