ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Officers are warning students to be on guard after two Albany State University students were robbed at gunpoint Tuesday.
University Police warn that criminals see students as potential targets, especially during homecoming week.
Most of the law enforcement agencies in Dougherty County and Albany are teaming up to make sure the thousands of visitors coming for Albany State's homecoming don't become crime victims.
It was just after midnight when 18-year-old Albany State student Hunter Foster said he was robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot of a convenience store on Radium Springs Road, just beside the campus.
He was walking home from a party when a gunman forced him to the ground and stole everything from his pockets.
Later around 2 a.m. 18-year-old William Chunn was walking across a university parking lot, to a homecoming party, when a man chased him down and hit him in the head with a gun. Chunn refused to give the robber anything, who left empty-handed.
Albany State University's Police Chief John Fields sent out an e-mail to students to be on guard.
"Especially during homecoming, those are the times that criminals come out and they target people," Fields said.
Thousands of visitors are already arriving in Albany to celebrate the University's homecoming, but law enforcement say they need to be cautious.
"You got a lot of people coming out to enjoy Homecoming, but on the other side you got a lot of people who are coming to commit crimes during Homecoming," said Fields.
Albany Police say visitors should stay in groups, hide your valuables, and not be an easy target for a criminal.
"Just don't give the person the opportunity. Stay in the buddy system," said Albany Police Sgt. William Dowdell. "Just be mindful of where you are going. If there are areas that you are just not familiar with, don't venture in them."
Police say a lot of Homecoming visitors will carry cash, and crooks know that too. So police warn everyone to stay on guard.
Officers from a half dozen law enforcement agencies will be working together to safeguard Homecoming celebrations. Police urge visitors to think safety as they enjoy the festivities.