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Campus police increase security after reported kidnapping

By: Lauren Hensley

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A heightened police presence was very noticeable on Penn State's campus Wednesday night. Campus police were out checking doors and windows after a female student reported a man grabbed her off the sidewalk and forced her into a vehicle. The crime happened over the weekend but went unreported until days later.

"Everyone has personal reasons for why they may not report, why they do report [a crime]," Penn State campus Police Chief Tyrone Parham said. "But in this case she decided not to report initially that night. Ideally, she would have called 911 right away and we would have meet her that night but we are not exactly sure why she didn't report that night."

Police said the men drove the woman to an off campus location where they forced her out of the vehicle and tried to assault her. She was able to fend off the men and run away. Now police are scouring through hours of surveillance video hoping to catch a break.

"We are moving forward as if she had reported it right away," Parham said. "We are doing a lot of back tracking, for example detectives are actually talking to students who were in the area around the time that this happened. So we talked to several students who were in the area around 1 and 1:30. [a.m.]"

Anyone who may have been in the area is encouraged to contact Penn State campus police. Police said the men were wearing dark hooded sweatshirts, had scarves covering their faces and were in a dark sedan.

Those on campus were urged to utilize university services, like Safe Walk, or use the buddy system and walk with a friend if they feel it is necessary, police said. Anyone seeing any suspicious activity was asked to contact police. Centre County CrimeStoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 regarding this case.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times