Students at the University of Virginia were warned to be on alert following a string of assaults.
Two females students were assaulted in mid-September in neighborhoods near the university.
One was assaulted in the early morning hours while walking home. The second was pushed into a pantry at a fraternity. The culprit in the second case ran away when friends heard the woman screaming and opened the pantry door. Police believe that these attacks could be linked and that the culprit may have been watching the victims for an opportunity to attack.
A third assault involved a man jumping out of a vehicle and punching another man. Allen Groves, dean of students, said the third attack may have been motivated by the victim's sexual orientation.
"Perpetrators often come to areas frequented by students, especially in the late night hours, looking for young people who are enjoying themselves and have let their guards down," Groves said.
He's asking students to watch their drinking and keep an eye on their friends.
Other Virginia schools also have reported increases in violent crime both on and off campus.