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Crime September 20, 2012 //  by ,  // 14 Comments

Second gunpoint robbery

The University of Houston Department of Public Safety is located on the corner of Scott Street and Cullen Boulevard. | File Photo/The Daily Cougar

For the second time this week, a student was held up at gunpoint.

At approximately 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, a UH student was threatened with a firearm in UH Parking Lot 9C, said a UH Department of Public Safety news release. UHDPS said the suspect is African-American, average height and with short dreadlocks.

This is the second time in less than a week a student has been robbed with a gun. The first incident was reported by UHDPS on Tuesday. That student was robbed on Holman Street near Scott Street. Neither students’ names were released to the public.

The victim of yesterday’s incident, whose identity will be withheld for his safety, said he was at his car in parking lot 9C when he was approached by a man wielding a gun.

“I don’t normally park there, but I had to move my car Monday morning so that I didn’t get a ticket for being in the wrong lot,” he said.

“Thanks to it being Monday morning, every spot on campus was full. So the lot I normally park in, which is smaller and safer, I couldn’t fit in, I had to go to the very back of the lot. At the time I didn’t think of it as a big deal.”

After placing his backpack in the car, the victim felt someone grab him.

“I was like, ‘Oh, it’s someone I know, a friend, trying sneak up on me or something.’ They physically contacted me. I turned around and I was like, ‘Who is this man?’” the victim said.

The suspect took the victim’s iPod, wallet and phone.

“He was pointing a gun at my stomach and said, ‘Give me your stuff.’ I pull my phone out of my pocket, and I was holding my iPod in plain sight so he took that. After all that, he was like, ‘Wallet.’ I kind of hesitated for a second, because a thought was flashing through my mind,” he said. “Do I try to talk to the person or what? I was like, ‘Nah, I’m not going to talk to him.’

“He saw me hesitate and was like, ‘Wallet,’ again, and I was just like, ‘OK.’ I actually answered him kind of frustratedly, ‘Alright. Here is the wallet.’ That is really funny that I reacted like that.”

After the incident, the victim said he was in a slight state of shock but not panicky.

“I was just standing there thinking, ‘Well, that could have been a lot worse. Man that stinks,’” he said.

“I got into my car, and I was just going to drive to my next class without my license. And then I was like, ‘You know, I should probably report this.’

“I walked into (my residence hall) and I went to the front desk. I was like, ‘Hey, I was just robbed at gunpoint. Do you have a phone I could use to call the police?’”

The incident did end up having some later consequences with the victim’s wallet containing his debit card.

“He’s already spent $600 on my debit card within a few hours of it happening,” he said “I have a deficit of over $300 already, because I don’t keep a lot in my debit account.”

news@thedailycougar.com

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  • http://www.intelligentdesignus.com John Abraham

    I am absolutely sick and tired of this happening to my fellow UH mates because if it could happen to them I’m sure this could happen to me as well. Campus security needs to be revamped and HPD needs to be present on campus in order to play an active role in protecting the welfare and safety of students. Instead of handing up parking tickets the police and parking department need to begin working together help students feel safe and secure especially from the moment they step out of the building heading to their respective cars because this school is a commuter university. I hope my post can get to other UH students and faculty, this is not to be taken lightly once people know they can rob people at UH this will turn into a frenzy of campus shootings and robberies. Personally I wouldn’t give up anything I’d rather get shot and die trying to make a change than let another thief like that make it through another day and do the same to someone else the next day because he knows he could get away with it. Please UHDPS and HPD help restore our campus security.

    • Quikboy

      Whether UH is a “commuter university” or not, nobody should have to feel unsafe getting to and off campus. A commuter status is independent of crimes in a parking lot.

  • Jonathan

    I am tired of hearing about all of this, UHPD should be going around the parking lot at all times.They need to patrol the streets 24/7, I usually just see them parked under the shade but thats no good as someone in the parking lot can be getting robed at the moment.UHPD please do your job, I and others commute to.school everyday so we care that our school is safe.

  • Ben McCrary

    Some of the advice provided by U of H regarding our safety is to park as close as possible to our respected classrooms. Very funny. How is this possible when some of the major lots are permanently closed due to new construction without any overflow areas being created? In order for me to get close to my classes I have to get on campus no later than 7am, and even then have a small chance of grabbing one of the 3 remaining spaces. Condensing the students to some of the larger lots is just begging for things like this to happen. There are constantly cars circling the parking lots looking for a place to pull into. It’s no wonder that suspicious vehicles aren’t noticed; there’s 30 other cars driving around aimlessly.
    I park in 9C also, and have serious concerns for myself and everyone else who is displaced to this lot. When I arrived this morning (about 18 hours from the events of yesterday) I noticed no one sitting in the little tower and no one patrolling the area. Clearly these terrible events keep happening in similar, outlying areas. Where is the added security? Where is the reinforcement from the university to make us feel like the thousands of dollars we throw at this school won’t be wasted by a bullet and someone who has access to an easy target? 9C is one of the largest lots on campus, and there is a single tower…that faces roughly 15% of the lot. I have often noticed no one in the booth, and IF they are, they are reading or chatting it up on their cell phone. I’m an HRMA major, not a safety and security major, but it would seem to me that having your back to 85% of the lot and not even looking out of the window isn’t the best recipe for protecting the students. But like I said, I’m a HRMA major; so what do I know?
    At the start of the semester there were officers at every lot “directing” traffic and making it safer for students to cross the street. Where are they now? I go days if not weeks without seeing a single UHPD vehicle. Looking at the events on file, most of them happen between 3 and 5 pm. Perhaps we could have a single squad car simply drive around the lots? Surely their presence alone would deter many of these sad events. These situations will only increase if additional steps aren’t taken. Hopefully the university has a plan in the works that will protect the students and prevent a situation where more than property is lost.

  • Alex Mathews

    This issue is becoming even more ridiculous. It needs to addressed ASAP! There are over 40,000 students at this school and a good portion who live on campus. Tier 1, money and football can all take a back seat; this needs to be a priority. I don’t think the administration knows how devastating this is to the overall image of the school. I can’t tell you how many times people make fun of UH b/c of the lack of safety around the school. So many people transfer or go to different schools b/c of the surrounding areas. Students don’t want to live on campus b/c of this very reason. This is only going to contribute to the “cougar high” image that the school is trying to fight off. Therefore, enrollment will go down and the school can’t afford to lose students. If the school wants to head in to the right direction, more security needs to be added or else enrollment will drop. Something needs to be done. If this school wants to host more on-campus activities, then they need to get this done.

  • Unhappy Cougar

    I could not agree more with my peers who have commented and I have just one more concern. I am a late afternoon/evening student, every time I walk out of my classes (which are all located in the technology building) a major light source in front of the architecture building TURNS OFF @ 8:30pm!! Why bothering having a lamp post if you’re going to turn it off when students are STILL on campus? The campus itself is not very well-lit at night and we’ve had incidences where students have been by their classrooms! UH, please put some attention to the safety of your students because I for one, don’t feel safe.

  • ace

    I agree with most of the stuff that the other people are saying.
    Sometimes I go to school events which lasts until 7 p.m., and by the time I get to my parking lot, there is usually only one other car besides mine. I was literally running for my life when the bus dropped me off, and did not feel safe until I got into my car. This is getting ridiculous. Dr. Khator is going around telling people to get more involved, but how are students going to get involved when we’re afraid of our safety? I also know that there are exams held during the evening, to which the students have no choice but to go.

    Tier one school or not, people would rather be safe.

  • Phil

    I AGREE!! i stay in cullen oaks right across the street and i feel so sketched out walking down cullen in the morning if the sun isnt up yet! today i had a suspision vehicle stroll past me about 3 times! not once did i see a cop on the walk alll the way from cullen oak to the Rec Center!!! that is completely ridiculous to allow that knowing are surroundings, let alone right after armed robberies! a change needs to come now or else we can kiss all this recent success goodbye because no one will want to go here!

  • Maize

    UH Police Dept and Dr. Khator, looks like we have a trend.

    Time to address it, and address it comprehensively.

    • mia

      Try parking at the ERP guys. 5000 Gulf Freeway

      It’s a little inconvenient because it’s a mile off campus, but a shuttle comes and will take you to the UC. It being off campus and away from that ghetto Cullen, Wheeler, Scott area I think makes it a lot safer. And parking is plentiful there, I’ve never had to circle the parking lot even once.

  • student

    You know, the brain-dead obvious response to this would be to create a 24/7 watch post at the edges of each of our parking lots. NOT increased police presence on the heart of campus itself. The problem is obviously occurring at the interface between campus and the rest of the world, and clearly simply patrolling these areas as usual is not enough to keep these things from happening. Set up some watch points and man them!

  • Quikboy

    Considering UHPD might not always be around, everyone should take precautions before leaving campus. Besides UHPD’s recommended measures, everyone should:

    1. Notice hiding spots. In a sea of cars and other vehicles, someone could be lurking. Be wary. Look around for anyone that looks suspicious and ensure they’re not following you.
    2. Don’t dawdle. Get to your vehicle (bike or car) and leave. Sticking around or going slowly allows someone to approach.
    3. Protect yourself. Whether it’s pepper spray, a bat, or even a gun or heavy backpack, be prepared that you might need to use it. Bad guys don’t always let witnesses go away so easy.
    4. Walk with friends or talk on the phone. Criminals like to either gang up on someone or go 1-to-1. Having more than one adversary makes things harder, and being on the phone means having another person alert to what’s going on.
    5. Get descriptions. Tattoos are something solid, average height, skin color, etc. License plates definitely help.

    These rules should apply on or off campus. You never know if the cops will get to you in time or if there’s a bystander that will call the cops or intervene.

    • SLIME BUCKET

      @quikboy Those sound more like a criminals demands than help alleviating the problem.
      1. Hiding spots-seriously- It’s a university parking lot every car is a hiding spot and every person in a car looks like a student.
      2. Dawdling-If I can’t park where I can dawdle then it’s probably not a safe place
      3. Fight fire with fire/ an eye for an eye right
      This leaves you blind and burnt.
      Seriously your snuck ‘gun’ in there like you were heading to the movies.
      4.single parents/single students as sad as it may sound to you, not everyone has a friend that can walk them around at the exact time they need a walking buddy.
      5. tattoo = criminal; why not get their immigration status during the hold-up?

  • Alexia

    I just got accepted to UH and after reading all these crime reports I quickly went from being excited about coming here to reluctant. I am from out of state and now looking at other schools,sad because I thought this school was amazing but I don’t want to have to watch my back 11 am coming from class.I’m really upset they have so much crime cause I really wanted to attend this school,oh well.

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