Just a few weeks ago, New College police sent out a campus-wide security alert in response to the attempted armed robbery which occurred at approximately 2:42 a.m. on Oct. 3 at the Shell gas station at 6000 N Tamiami Trail. According to the report, two African-American males, possibly aged 18-20, attacked a man in the Shell gas station’s parking lot, striking him with an unknown, possibly toy, handgun. The victim refused the suspects’ demands and they were last seen running south on U.S. 41.
“Though there was no known connection to the campus, I felt that the community should be alerted to these incidents due to the proximity of the Airport Shell Station,” said Campus Police Chief Wes Walker in an email to the Catalyst. The security alert cautioned visiting the Shell gas station and neighboring areas on foot or bike after dark and advised students to stay safe.
“My warning about patronizing the Airport Shell after dark was based upon not only this recent case, but upon the fact that a number of crimes and disturbances have occurred at that location over the years. Thankfully, the vast majority has not involved members of our community, and I would like to keep it that way,” said Walker.
However, when asked whether similar incidents of armed robbery have occurred at the Shell, Shell employee David Bokrebion said, “No, it never happened anything like that before. That was the first time that happened.”
In regards to safety concerns Bokrebion assured, “This place is always safe. You always have campus police, we have always Sarasota police and plus we have airport police so we feel like we’re always safe at night.”
The attempted robbery is currently an on-going investigation being conducted by the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office. New College police urge students to report any suspicious activity and to stay alert.