University Police and the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department arrested four individuals in the early morning hours of Jan. 29 by following an investigation of an assault and series of thefts on the eastern edge of the Oswego State campus and Baylis Street.
According to University Police, a man reported at 2:44 a.m. that night that he was assaulted on Baylis Street just south of Washington Boulevard by two men who then stole his iPhone. UP responded with Oswego County sheriff’s deputies.
The suspects ran from the area toward the Mackin Complex on campus. University Police officers swept the area on foot and found five cars, all parked in a Moreland Hall resident student parking lot, had been forcefully entered and had their stereos and other personal items removed.
“There were footprints in the snow that were photographed by our officers,” UP Chief John Rossi said. “The state police stopped a vehicle in the town of Minnetto on a traffic violation and detained the four occupants. Further investigation revealed two of the robbery suspects were in the car and they were arrested and the car towed to the sheriff’s garage. A search warrant was obtained and we assisted the sheriff’s investigators in searching the car and recovering the stereos, tools, a jump pack, iPod and other assorted items that were reported stolen.”
Although none of the accused were Oswego State students, the Office of Public Affairs sent out a campus announcement via email to all faculty and students at 11:52 a.m. that day with the details of the incident.
“We strongly believe in sharing safety-related information in a timely way with members of the campus community so that they conduct their lives here with a proper sense of security and an awareness of potential hazards,” said Oswego State Public Affairs Director Julie Blissert. “I should note that the college was not required to send an urgent alert to the campus community about this incident, because suspects were quickly in custody and there was no ongoing threat to the campus community from those particular individuals.”
On Feb. 2, University Police investigator Daniel May and officer Robert Vaccarelli went to the Oswego County Jail and arrested 26-year-old Jonathan Ford and 33-year-old Eddie Jones Jr., both residents of Syracuse. They were arraigned at the Oswego County Court House. Jones, who was being held without bail was charged with five counts of petit larceny and five counts of criminal mischief in the 4th degree for damaging the vehicles while removing the stereos, according to Rossi. He was remanded back to the county jail being held again without bail. Jones was charged with five counts of petit larceny and had bail set at $5,000 cash. Both were returned to the custody of the Sheriff’s Department.
One of the accused was charged by UP with one count of petit larceny and was issued an appearance ticket to return to Oswego City Court on Feb. 19.
“This case was solved by the teamwork of the members of the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department, State Police and University Police,” Rossi said. “Our officers work extremely hard day and night at providing a safe community for everyone at all times.”
Student safety on campus has been a growing issue over the last few years with multiple intrusions and thefts, both involving Oswego State students.
UP stresses several safety tips, including avoiding wearing headphones when walking or jogging, always being aware of one’s surroundings, avoiding isolated or dark areas, especially late at night, making sure students’ cars are locked and all valuables are hidden or locked in the glove compartment and using the recently improved Rave Guardian app.