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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Crime

UHPD praises student victims’ cooperation


UH police arrested and charged a suspect with three second-degree felonies in connection with robbery for two separate incidents.

The first robbery happened on Jan. 26 in parking lot 9C, the second on Feb. 4 close to 4500 Cullen near UH entrance 10. Both student victims involved identified the suspect through a photo spread.

The 17-year-old suspect was identified as Brian Christopher Gray. In the Jan. 26 robbery, the male victim attempted to sell his iPhone through Craigslist. Police believe Gray contacted the victim by phone and suggested they meet in UH parking lot 9C.

Once they met, he drew a weapon and stole the victim’s iPhone and an additional iPhone the victim had, University police said. Officers said Gray then fled into a vehicle, which was captured on video surveillance.

In the second incident on Feb. 4, police say Gray approached a female student while holding a gun and asked to use her iPhone. When the student offered no resistance, Gray took her device and ran.

Police Sergeant Leslie Gremillion credits the victims for giving officers precise descriptions of Gray, who is in no way affiliated with UH.

“Tuesday, I was able to drive in the parking lot (9C), and we were doing a robbery detail in unmarked vehicles due to the increased activity,” Gremillion said.

“He (Gray) was walking in the parking lot and walked to a parked vehicle. I looked at him and said ‘that’s him.’ Once we stopped him his name matched the phone records on the first robbery.”

Gremillion noticed Gray was not behaving like most UH commuters. He was in the parking lot looking at people walking around him.

“That’s not normal behavior. Most college students have tunnel vision. They want to get to their car and go home,” Gremillion said.

“He was acting out of the norm. There’s no doubt in my mind that they were scouting out another victim.”

Investigators believe Gray used an Airsoft gun in both robberies and in a separate robbery that took place at HCC. Police recovered the Airsoft gun and items that had just been stolen from the downtown HCC campus.

“Because of our student’s great descriptions, we were able to prevent someone from getting robbed,” Gremillion said.

Gremillion said according to Texas state law, an Airsoft gun is not a deadly weapon, so they were not able to charge Gray with aggravated robbery. He will be charged with robbery with a threat.

UHPD said they are pleased to report that they currently have no open cases.

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