At 4:11pm today, I received an email from the University entitled “Security Alert 11.12.11”. Below is the email message:
We have been notified by the NYPD, that on November 12, 2011 at about 7:30 p.m. two males were the victim of an attempted robbery in the lobby of a brownstone on W. 114 St. between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave. The suspect […] was sitting on the steps of the brownstone and followed the first victim into the hallway. He displayed a gun and demanded the victim’s I-phone [sic]. When the victim stated he didn’t have an I-phone, the male gave it back to him. The second victim entered the hallway and the suspect demanded his Iphone. Once again the suspect handed it back when he found out it was not actually an Iphone. The suspect left the building and fled on foot down Amsterdam Ave.
For your information, “W. 114th St. between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.” is exactly where I live. The robbery might as well have taken place in my building.
This is about the third or forth crime reported this year around the school, but I am particularly shocked at this one.
The robber was already pointing a gun at somebody, committing a crime, and left empty-handed because the phone wasn’t an iPhone. He basically said no to the watch (~$120), no to the TI-83 (~$100), no to the laptop (~$1000+), no to the iPod (~$200), no to non-smart phones (~$100), and no to every other smartphone ever invented besides the iPhone!
I’m not sure if I should be laughing at his failed criminal act or admiring his steadfastness to the iPhone. Steve Jobs would be proud. Perhaps secretly.
Regardless of how I resolve my cognitive dissonance, if you have an iPhone, consider putting it back in the box and take out that Blackberry you retired from last year.
Watch out RIM, here’s your chance.
Update Nov. 21, 2011:
You’ve got to be kidding me. This guy (or his good friend) came back!
Security Alert today:
On November 21, 2011 at about 11:50 p.m., a student was the victim of an attempted robbery on W.114St. between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. The student accompanied by another person was accosted as she was walking on the north side of W.114 St. towards Broadway. The suspect pushed the victim against a fence, threatened her and demanded her I-phone [sic]. When the suspect learned she did not have an I- phone, he fled east towards Amsterdam Avenue without taking any property. The suspect is observed on video walking back and forth on W. 114 St. prior to the crime. Moments earlier, he followed a student into Ruggles Hall but left the building immediately. If you have any information about this crime or this suspect, contact the 26Pct Detective Unit at 212-678-1351 or contact the undersigned. If you observe this person on the street, call the police immediately by dialing 911.
The incident is so serious that the University’s VP Public Safety wrote a letter addressing this issue:
In the past few weeks you have received several Security Alerts regarding crimes in our community. In particular, there has been a series of robberies and attempted robberies on W. 114th Street. I am writing to let you know that the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff, as well as others in our community, is our top priority. I would also like to share with you some of the things that the Department of Public Safety is doing to safeguard our campus, and the 114th Street area in particular, in order to help allay any concerns that you may have on the issue of safety here at Columbia…
I’m looking forward to the “iPhones Cause Crimes on Ivy League Campus” article in the next edition of the New York Times.