UT Officials Urge Students to Take Precautions After Monday Night Crimes

Knoxville (WVLT) - Police continue their search for three suspects involved in two separate but similar situations Monday night at the University of Tennessee.

The first...an armed robbery where three men approached two female students, and at gunpoint, demanded they hand over their stuff.

And just two hours later...three men approached a male student getting out of his vehicle and carjacked him.

The suspects are still at large, and UT police hope that you can help.

Behind a tree...behind a car...as you walk through the parking lot toward your vehicle...a predator can be hiding anywhere. You need to know what to do...

"I know that it can happen to a guy or a girl but it's really scary that it's happening on university campus," UT student Tim Guarino says.

Students have some of their own safety techniques...

"I always keep my keys in one hand and my phone in another," UT student Maggie Flemming says.

"My mom always told me to carry your keys in-between your fingers," UT student Abby Joffre says.

Walking in groups is best... but if you're alone...

"I'm just really aware of what's going on, sometimes I try to be on the phone with somebody in case anything would happen or just make sure my phone is in my pocket," UT student Bailey Swilley.

And there's something else that could help save your life.

"I'm a smaller girl, so I need to protect myself in case something happens," Joffre says.

Self defense instructors say that's precisely what everyone should do. A basic understanding of self-defense could get you out of a seemingly hopeless situation.

And even with the right knowledge, when there's news about a crime on campus... it's not taken lightly.

"It scares me a lot because you're supposed to feel safe at your school and right now I'm not feeling really safe," Swilliey says.

The suspects in the armed robbery are described as two black men, one wearing camouflage, one wearing a black hoodie and black bandana, and a white man wearing a black hoodie.

The carjacking suspects are described as three black men, all about 5' 10". Two had black hoodies and dark pants, and one had a white bandana.

If you have any information, call UT Police at 974-3114, or Knoxville Police at 215-7000.

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