The East Lansing Police Department says a few people, typically walking alone, distracted by their phones, and walking in poorly lit areas have been robbed.
"There will be four or five people that either surround people and assault them or by threat say, 'Give me your phone,' or 'Give me your wallet,' and the people then flee on foot," Lt. Scott Wriggelsworth said. He has a simple solution - pay attention and travel in groups.
"Walk in pairs, stay away from darkly-lit alleys, find people to walk home with that you know if you have been drinking or are intoxicated," Wriggelsworth said.
Shaun Banaszak, who is a freshman at Michigan State University, says she does that, but it requires planning ahead. "When you go out, make sure you know that you'll end up with someone that's gonna be in the same dorm or apartment as you are so you're traveling in groups."
Julia Surman, also a freshman, says she moved to MSU from a small town and has had to learn new habits. "A lot of people walk with at least one person, but I like to do more than one just makes me safer," Surman said.
East Lansing hasn't seen a significant spike in these crimes, but they do want to prevent the crimes from happening by reminding people to stay safe.
The ELPD is investigating the robberies, and doesn't know if they are connected.