DALLAS - The Dallas Independent School District is warning students about an increase in robberies near several Oak Cliff campuses.
Dallas ISD police said there have been six robberies in the area over a 10-day period at the end of February. The latest robbery happened on March 1.
In several of the cases, the school district said the students were either walking alone or waiting at a bus stop. The suspects held them at gunpoint and forced them to hand over their cellphone and belongings.
Dallas ISD confirms there have been six armed robberies since mid-February near Kimball High School, Roosevelt High School, Zan Holmes Middle School and Stockard Middle School.
Diana Guerra and Adriana Morales are unsatisfied following a meeting Monday morning with the principal of Stockard Middle School. Their 12 and 13-year-old sons were going to meet the ice cream man after school just a block away from campus while they waited for their ride. That's when they say a black Chevy Impala with tinted windows pulled up. The occupants were described as four black males between 18 to 20 years old. One of them had short dread locks.
“Everybody keeps putting the blame on each other,” Morales said. “And we are not getting very far.”
“One male gets off and tells them, ‘Hand me your phones.’ And they all said no,” Guerra said. “That's when he pulls out a .38, puts it to their backs and said, ‘Get on the ground. Get out your phones or I'm going to kill y'all.’”
The women say their sons were told not to tell anyone or the gunman would return and kill them.
“I was shocked at first. Then I was glad everybody was ok and that they didn't get shot or killed,” Guerra said. “And then there goes my anger. How can somebody pick on 12-year-olds and steal a phone from them in broad daylight one block away from school?”
A letter went out Friday alerting parents, but both moms say it went out after their kids were robbed.
“I think they should have more patrols,” Guerra said. “They are so fast in shooing them off the campus that they should be patrolling around so kids get to where they need to get to.”
“My main concern is that if they are not caught and they can go anywhere and do this to anybody else,” Morales said.
Dallas ISD is reminding students to keep cellphones hidden, to travel with a buddy in well-lit areas and to avoid contact with strangers.
“If you have students who walk, ride the bus, or wait for an extended period of time to be picked up, please talk to them about being aware of their surroundings,” the district said.
Police plan to step up patrols around campuses in the area.