VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Valdosta State University issued a news release Tuesday morning, saying that the report of an armed robbery was false, and that a young man was arrested for making it.
According to the release, student Matthew Tito, 21, of Snellville, was charged with the false report of a crime and giving false statements.
Valdosta State President Dr. William J. McKinney, issued a statement thanking the university's police officers "for their diligent work on this and all matters dealing with the safety of our campus community."
Students said this reminds them that robbery's can happen anytime anywhere and to always be on alert. "There's a lot of students on campus, so [the victim] could be me but then again it couldn't," said sophomore Eric Caver.
"I think you just gotta be smart, be aware of your surroundings. Don't walk alone at night and stuff like that," said freshman Meghan McShey.
Around 2:30 p.m. Monday, VSU police issued an alert regarding an armed robbery on the campus near the intersection of Toombs St. and Brookwood Dr. The call was changed to an unarmed incident soon after. VSU's release said, in part:
"The VSU Police Department is committed to doing all that is possible to build an environment that promotes a feeling of safety and security. Police officers patrol the campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They protect life and property, preserve the peace, prevent and repress crime, investigate reported offenses, apprehend offenders, enforce regulations and laws relating to traffic control, collect and preserve physical evidence, prepare cases for court prosecution or disciplinary action, recover lost and stolen property, provide general police services to the university community, and establish and maintain an enforcement policy which is consistent with the requirements of the law and with the best traditions of a democratic society.
The VSU Police Department offers a variety of crime-prevention programs and information sources to help the university community deal with safety issues. One such safety initiative is the police escort service. This program provides additional protection to all university faculty, staff, students, and visitors while walking around campus. It is in operation around the clock, and officers are prepared to provide a walking escort to any member of the VSU community to any location on campus upon request. Those who wish to utilize the service should simply dial (229) 333-7816 or use one of the emergency phones located throughout the campus."