NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers University began expanding off-campus security efforts Thursday as another football player was charged in a home invasion robbery, bringing the total number of arrests to six players and five current or former students.
The university said it will begin reaching out to nearly 10,000 students who live south and west of the College Avenue Campus to offer window alarms and light timers and advise them on ways to be more safety-conscious.
"The safety and well-being of all members of our community are a priority," Chancellor Richard Edwards told The Record newspaper (http://bit.ly/1EPQzuV).
The action came after 10 current and former Rutgers students were charged last week with robbing and assaulting other students during the spring semester. Five football players were dismissed from the team following their arrests last week.
The Middlesex County prosecutor's office Thursday announced the arrest of an 11th person, 20-year-old Lloyd Terry Jr. of Wrightstown. Terry was charged with armed robbery, armed burglary and conspiracy for allegedly participating in a home invasion robbery in April. He is listed on Rutgers' athletics website as a running back who redshirted in 2013 and appeared in one game last season.
Terry was being held at the county jail in lieu of $175,000 bail; it was not immediately known if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Two former players and another student pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges stemming from multiple home invasions, including one at a campus dorm room. Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Kuberiet said the former players took pictures of the drugs and cash they stole and left a trail of incriminating text messages.
Kuberiet said the home invasions involved the use of a revolver, baseball bat, a hammer and knives. The victims were targeted because the defendants believed they would not report the crimes, Kuberiet said.
Jim Donohue, who represents one of the players, said the alleged victims were drug dealers who would say anything to get out of trouble.
An unrelated sexual assault was also reported in the neighborhood a week before fall classes started.
Edwards said 15 new recruits will be added to the 76-member university police department within the next few months and the department — in partnership with New Brunswick police — has boosted patrols.
Dozens of security cameras will also be added in nearby neighborhoods in addition to the 2,700 already in place on the New Brunswick and Piscataway campuses, Edwards said. Students and staff can request escorts from the university police if they are returning to campus from other areas in the city.
The university also opened an office of off-campus living and community partnership, which is starting block watch programs and has purchased two patrol vehicles.
Rutgers last year implemented an expanded text-alert system to inform students and staff of serious crimes in the area.
Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), http://www.northjersey.com