The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Off campus home site of robbery at gun point

Holed up in her room, senior Erica Rado was oblivious to what was happening throughout the rest of her house while listening to music and talking to her boyfriend on the phone on Labor Day evening.

After being robbed at gunpoint, her roommates at 1008 Second Ave. burst in her room to tell her the tale.

A man entered the home asking to use the bathroom, and the tenants obliged. A short time later another man came in looking for a different man – who was not at the residence – and brandished a firearm, demanding everyone lie on the floor.

“He pulled out a gun and told my roommates to give him their IDs and wallets,” said Rado.

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After two Altoona men were later arrested in connection with the robbery, Rado and her roommates found out that the incident was in a way, a mistake.

Rado said the men didn’t realize they were in the wrong house and were looking for someone who lived near by.

Still, the incident serves as a reminder of small safety precautions that students can take to avoid dangerous situations.

Christopher Kirchman, sergeant at the UW-Eau Claire Police Department, said safety should be a major concern for students on and off campus.

“The biggest thing we tell people, whether you’re home or not, lock your doors,” he said. “I think we have a lot students especially in off-campus housing that leave their doors open 24/7.”

Some of the most common incidents in the area, Kirchman said, are burglaries and cases of intoxicated people walking into the wrong house.

For on-campus residents, Kirchman stressed that students not give out combinations to dorm rooms, even to friends. He also said that students should respect steps the university takes for campus safety.

“If (dorm residents) see someone knocking on a locked door, don’t just allow them in to bypass security,” said Kirchman.

For safety out of the home, Kirchman said students should always let a roommate or friend know routes and expected return times if exercising or running at night. He said students may also carry pepper spray, but that anyone who decides to carry the spray should be trained in its use before being forced to use it in a critical situation.

As for Rado and her housemates, security of their home has been stepped up since their scary encounter.

Rado said she makes sure to lock all of the doors now, even when someone is home. She has also put curtains over large windows that were not covered before to prevent people from looking into the house.

“We’re just taking better safety precautions because we don’t want anything to happen again,” she said. “Obviously we don’t live in Milwaukee, but things still happen in little Eau Claire, Wisconsin.”

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Off campus home site of robbery at gun point