7 Milwaukee east side armed robberies, 3 near UWM main campus

Milwaukee police are investigating seven armed robberies that happened Thursday night, Jan. 19, Friday morning, Jan. 20 and Saturday night, Jan. 21. Three of the crimes happened in the Upper East Side neighborhood and Shorewood near the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's main campus.

According to UWM police, the victims were not hurt. The robbers took whatever the victims had, and at least one of them had a gun.

The timing couldn't be worse for UWM students. Monday, Jan. 23 was the first day of the spring semester.

There were many changes on campus as sophomore Skylar Abner started the new semester, but sadly, she said one thing stayed the same.

"We got told it was armed robberies all around the campus," said Abner.

Police said four of the robberies happened late Thursday and into Friday morning. Two more happened Saturday night within minutes of each other. Investigators said the crimes are related to another robbery in Shorewood.

"They appear to be targeting pedestrians walking to their cars, from their cars or sitting in their cars," said UWM Police Chief David Salazar.

Chief Salazar said he increased patrols around these parts of campus. He wanted to remind students and staff about an app they can have with them at all times.

"It directly connects you with UWM police," said Chief Salazar. "Text us. Ask questions. Report suspicious activity."

You can even let police track you if you're walking at night. UWM police said nearly 25,000 people on campus have subscribed to the university's "RAVE Guardian Mobile App."

Still, Abner said it's an extra worry when all her attention is on classwork.

"We don’t know what will happen to us," said Abner. "We don’t know if we can get hurt." 

Police are looking for four males in a stolen white 2020 Kia Sportage with Minnesota plates. They previously used a white sedan and a silver sedan, police said.

They are black males between the ages of 16 and 20. One is 5'6" tall, weighing 130 to 150 pounds, wearing a surgical mask, dark winter clothing and carrying a handgun. One is 5'6" tall, weighing 130 pounds, wearing a dark mask and dark winter clothing.

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Anyone with information is asked to please contact police.