Suspect punches man in face trying to steal woman’s backpack on VCU campus

Posted at 7:03 PM, Mar 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-21 19:24:05-04

RICHMOND, Va. — Authorities are asking for the public’s help to identify the suspect wanted in an attempted robbery on Virginia Commonwealth University’s main campus Tuesday night.

It happened in the 900 block of Park Avenue just before 9:35 p.m.

“A victim reported that an unknown male approached her from behind and attempted to steal her backpack,” VCU Police officials said. “She resisted and the suspect was unable to take possession of her bag. When a bystander intervened, the suspect punched him and then fled westbound; the suspect got into a car that was parked in a lot on Harrison Street and left the area.”

The victim was not injured.

“In the video footage from VCU’s security cameras, the man exits the passenger side of a grey or silver Nissan Altima in an alleyway near Harrison Street; police believe the vehicle is a 2005 or 2008 model,m” officials said. “He crosses the alley into the courtyard of VCU’s Pollack Building and pulls a hoodie over his head.”

Police think the man crossed through the courtyard and another alley before trying to take the victim’s backpack near VCU’s Singleton Center.

The suspect was described as a black male, 5 feet 10 inches tall with braids (or dreadlocks) and long sideburns. He was last seen wearing a light-colored, hooded sweatshirt.

Anyone with information pertaining to this crime is encouraged to contact VCU Police Det. Lee Olds at 804-382-2719 or by email at The VCU Police non-emergency dispatch line is (804) 828-1196. VCU students, faculty, staff and Richmond residents can also download the free LiveSafe mobile safety application on a smartphone. LiveSafe users can submit tips, screenshots, photos and videos directly to VCU Police; tips are monitored 24/7. Tips can also be submitted to Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000 or on the P3 Tips mobile app.

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