Police investigate two strong-arm robberies reported in Tent City

Two strong-arm robberies were reported Saturday in Tent City. Charleston police are trying to determine if the similar crimes are related.

Two strong-arm robberies were reported Saturday within 30 minutes of each other in the area of Tent City, according to Charleston police.

The robberies are described as similar in nature and police spokesman Charles Francis said officers are trying to determine if they are related. In the meantime, police have increased their presence in the area.

The first robbery occurred about 10:15 p.m. while a man was walking through Tent City. He was approached from behind by a man who assaulted him and took his cell phone and wallet, according to Francis.

The second man was robbed was riding his bicycle about 11 p.m. on Huger Street in the area of Tent City when a man called him over. He rode over, Francis said, and the man assaulted him and took his cell phone and wallet.

Both victims were taken to Medical University Hospital where they were treated and released.

The Tent City area, near the bridge and Interstate 26, is owned by the state Department of Transportation. The encampment will be dismantled over the next two months.

Elected officials and homeless advocates have been scrambling to find places to relocate the rest of the campers.

Two sections of the campsite were cleared earlier this month.

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call dispatch at 843-743-7200 or Crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111.

Reach Melissa Boughton at 843-937-5594 or at Twitter.com/mboughtonPC.