Cambridge Police are stepping up patrols after what the department said has been a recent spate of robberies and violent crimes in the city, including an assault in which a man was robbed of his backpack at knifepoint near the Cambridge Common Monday.
Police said they immediately identified several people who may have been responsible for the robbery on Garden Street near the park Monday, but police released the suspects because the victim was not cooperating, according to an advisory issued by the department Wednesday.
The robbery Monday night came after a total of three women in their twenties were robbed in two separate incidents on Appleton Street and in the area of Kirkland and Holden streets Thursday night. A woman on Appleton Street was struck in the head from behind by a man and her cell phone was taken around 10:05 p.m. that night. At about 10:45 p.m.Thursday, two more women were knocked to the ground by a man at Kirkland and Holden Streets and one woman’s phone was stolen, according to police.
Cambridge Police Spokesman Dan Riviello said police believe the two robberies Thursday night may be related to each other, but do not believe they are related to another robbery on Buena Vista Park and Upland Road Sunday in which two men robbed a third of his cell phone at gunpoint.
In addition to the robberies, there have been two stabbings in John F. Kennedy Park on Memorial Drive this month, including one in which a man suffered a small wound on his arm Saturday, Sept. 28. On Sept. 8, State Police arrested a Vermont man on charges related to a stabbing in John F. Kennedy Park that night..
In the advisory issued Wednesday, Cambridge Police said they do not believe the distinct sets of crimes are related, but the department recognizes that the crimes “may have placed students and residents in fear.”
In addition to stepping up patrols in response to the crimes, the department is also placing teams of officers and detectives wearing plainclothes in the affected areas.
The department is also recommending that residents and students take precautions to avoid being victimized, including following several safety tips, including walking with a friend and staying aware of their surroundings.