ITHACA, N.Y. — A recent series of violent crimes has spurred Acting Police Chief Pete Tyler to increase patrols in Downtown Ithaca.

Two weeks ago, a 30-year-old man was shot on the Ithaca Commons. On Sunday, two people were robbed. One person reported that their wallet was forcibly grabbed as they were walking home in the Fall Creek neighborhood. Later in the morning Sunday, an 88-year-old woman was robbed and shoved to the ground as she was walking home from church.

In response to the “uncharacteristic series of violent crimes,” the Ithaca Police Department said, they are increasing their police presence in the downtown area. There will be more uniformed officers, including more officers on bike patrol, Tyler said in a statement.

Related: Finding Ithaca robbery suspects a ‘top priority’ for police

Related: Accused Ithaca Commons shooter bail raised to $100K

Related: Accused Ithaca Commons shooter bail raised to $100K

Read the full statement from Tyler below:

“First and foremost, I extend my wishes for a speedy recovery to the victims of these senseless crimes as they heal and move forward with their lives. As Acting Chief of Police, I recognize the number one goal of The IPD is to maintain Ithaca as a safe place to live, work, and visit. I know that often, feeling safe rivals the importance of being safe. In response to these crimes, I have reorganized my personnel to increase police presence in the downtown area and will have further discussion with my staff on creative ways to be proactive in our responses to these types of incidents. It is my intention to have folks visiting downtown to see more uniformed police officers, including more officers on bike patrol. I have also asked our criminal investigators, who typically wear non-police clothing, to also be part of the solution and increase their presence in the downtown area. My staff and I will also be patrolling The Commons at various times as our schedules allow.

“It should be noted, the suspect in the shooting was apprehended shortly after the shooting itself, in part due to a collaboration of efforts including some alert witnesses, working with uniformed patrol officers who were close by at the time of the shooting. Our team of officers and investigators are working diligently to solve the two reported robberies and prevent future senseless acts of violence.

“I am also asking for our communities continued support and with helping accomplish this, so, please, if you have any information that would aid our investigations please reach out to us.”

Anyone with information about the crimes is being asked to contact the Ithaca Police Department at:

  • Police Dispatch: 607-272-3245
  • Police Administration: 607-272-9973
  • Crime Stoppers Tipline: 607-697-0333
  • Drug Tipline: 607-330-0000
  • Email Tip Address: http://www.cityofithaca.org/FormCenter/Ithaca-Police-Department-5/Ithaca-Police-Department-Tipline-47
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ithacapolice
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/ithacapolice

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at koconnor@ithacavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.