The Columbia Police Department is investigating a strong-arm robbery that happened at the 2500 block of Quail Drive at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday.
When they arrived, a male victim in his early 20s told police he was lost trying to walk home from a local bar. CPD confirmed to ABC 17 News they do not believe the victim is from the area and may have been intoxicated.
The victim asked seven black males if they could give him a ride home. That’s when police say the men knocked the victim to the ground and stole his wallet and phone.
Police told ABC 17 News the victim either went to a nearby home to call police or a neighbor saw or heard the commotion and called the police.
Police say the suspects left the area in a dark color vehicle, possibly a van. The victim was not injured.
When ABC17 News went back to Quail Drive Saturday afternoon, several residents pointed out the numerous crime and violence problems the area has experienced over the years.
Mitzi Enlow used to live on Quail Drive but moved after about six years.
“I just wanted to take my family and move away to something more safe,” she said.
Enlow still has relatives on the block so when she comes back, she said she’s sad to hear that violence like Saturday’s robbery continues to happen.
“My heart’s a little saddened because it hasn’t gotten any better,” she said. “So many young people that are out late at night without anything to do, without any parental guidance.”
Enlow’s confident there is something that can be done to curb the crime.
She suggested more police presence, or even a substation nearby.
“Maybe that would deter some of the crime and some of the delinquents walking around too early in the morning hours,” Enlow said.
She also thinks after school programs or job training would be a good way to keep people off the street and doing something productive.
Enlow is quick to urge those living there to be careful.
“I would just suggest stay very close to home especially after dark,” she said. “Stay close to home.”
If you have information, police ask to call CPD or CrimeStoppers at (573) 875- TIPS.