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More than 160 emergency calls to Aspen Heights since August

By Heather Hourigan, Reporter, heather.hourigan@kmiz.com
Published On: Dec 11 2013 07:16:43 PM CST

According to dispatch reports, officers have responded to 167 emergency calls from the troubled student housing complex.

COLUMBIA, Mo. -

A suspect is still on the run after robbing two Aspen Heights residents at gunpoint Tuesday night.

According to police, a woman was walking her dog near her home when the suspect approached her and forced her back into her home. Officers say the man pointed a gun and a woman and her roommate, demanded money, then fled the scene on foot.

Despite setting up a perimeter around the complex and closing both entrances, police could not find the suspect.

On Wednesday, the neighborhood was no longer on lockown and its gates were wide open during regular business hours.

According to police dispatch numbers, there have been 167 emergency calls to Aspen Heights since it opened in August. That is more 911 calls than other student housing complexes in the area.

No one seems to know why Aspen Heights is a target for crime.

"I don't have an explanation as to why, but I do know that our lieutenant, sergeant, and officers that work that area have been in contact with the management and trying to get them to upgrade security features," said Sgt. Joe Bernhard with the Columbia Police Department.

Currently, those security features include a gated entrance and exit with cameras. There are now even police officers living inside the neighborhood.

Students say those gates are now open during normal business hours.

"Anyone can get in the gates," said one resident. "It's open right now. Supposed to be open during office hours."

Several residents who moved to the complex when it opened in August say they now want to move out. In the last four months, there have been more than 100 calls to 911 operators for crimes including robberies, burglaries, shots fired and a rape.

"It's a little unsettling but I've heard of things happening in place like Log Hill," said resident Sydene Glenn. "I think what people don't understand is its a big town, things are going to happen."

ABC 17 News reached out to Aspen Heights on Wednesday for a comment, but as yet to hear back.

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