Police have beefed up security around Temple University after three students were robbed at gunpoint this week, officials said.

"We're working with the Philadelphia police to increase patrols," said Ray Betzner, a spokesman for the university.

Three students were robbed in less than an hour and within a few blocks of each other midday on Monday, near several of the school's dormitories. At least one of the robberies was committed by two men, Betzner said.

The first stickup occurred around 12:30 p.m. on the 1500 block of West Dauphin Street, the second at 1 p.m. on the 1300 block of West Dauphin, and the third around 1:15 p.m. on the 1500 block of West Norris Street.

The students all told police a man brandished a silver handgun and demanded money. No one was injured.

One robber was described as a 5-foot-10 to 6-foot African American man with a light complexion and a beard. He was wearing a puffy vest over a gray hooded sweatshirt. The other man was described as about 5-foot-5, with a darker complexion and a puffy jacket.

The descriptions were given by students who were robbed in separate incidents, Betzner said.

In addition to the increased police presence, Temple sent out emails to all students, faculty and staff on Monday, Betzner said, asking people to take caution.

Betzner said students should try to walk with friends and avoid dark walkways or hidden "shortcuts" in favor of better-lighted main streets. He also recommended that students stay aware of their surroundings by not talking on cell phones or listening to music.

Students can also take advantage of the campus's on-campus transportation system, the Owloop. Information can be found online at www.temple.edu/safety.

Anyone with information or who sees anything suspicious is asked to call 911. Students can also dial 1-1234 from a campus phone or 215-204-1234 from a non-campus phone.

Contact staff writer Allison Steele at 215-854-2641 or asteele@phillynews.com.

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