HARRISONBURG — Police say a strong-arm robbery that drew several officers to the 800 block of Port Republic Road late Tuesday afternoon occurred between acquaintances.
At 4:40 p.m., police responded to the area, set up a perimeter and began interviewing potential victims and witnesses, according to a statement sent late Tuesday night by Lt. Chris Rush, Harrisonburg Police Department’s commander of investigations.
Police offered few details of the alleged crime, about how many people were involved or what might have been taken in the robbery. No arrests were reported, and it was unclear as of press time Tuesday night whether police were still seeking a suspect.
“This crime is not a random crime and all parties involved are known to each other,” Rush said in the statement.
The actual crime occurred in the 1100 block of Forest Hill Road, Rush said in the statement, just blocks north of the Port Republic intersection with Devon Lane, where police originally responded.
Two hours after responding to the call, Harrisonburg and JMU police officers and Rockingham County sheriff’s deputies were seen speaking with potential witnesses at the Campus Corner gas station, 810 Port Republic Road. Police also were observed patrolling the area on foot and in squad cars.
Employees at Cluckers Smak Shak, which is connected to the Campus Corner, said they were told by police to lock the restaurant’s doors and not to have anyone out back.
James Madison University sent out a text alert to its students, faculty and staff informing them of a potential threat because the area where the apparent strong-arm robbery occurred is home to a number of complexes that cater to university students.
“Any time that there is something either on campus or near campus that may be some sort of threat to our campus community we send that type of alert to our students,” said Don Egle, JMU spokesman.
According to the JMU alert, the suspect is described as a white male, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 135 pounds and estimated to be 25 years old.
Rush encouraged anyone with information on the crime to contact HPD’s Criminal Investigations Division at 437-2640.
Contact Alex Rohr at 574-6293 or email@example.com