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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Crime

UHPD increasing security patrols after string of robberies


The University of Houston Police Department is increasing patrols after a week-long string of robberies across campus parking lots, announced UHPD Chief Ceaser Moore in a mass email to the UH community Wednesday morning.

According to the email, UHPD is working with the Houston Police Department in their investigation of these robberies. One arrest has been made so far.

“We recognize your concerns in light of three armed robberies in and around campus in the last two weeks,” Moore said in the email. “I want to reinforce our commitment to campus safety.”

The most recent of the robberies occurred Tuesday evening in the northeast corner of the gated Bayou Oaks parking lot, where two suspects wielding a semi-automatic rifle approached a student and demanded his wallet and phone before fleeing the scene in the student’s vehicle. According to the security alert sent out early Wednesday morning, the vehicle was later recovered on the 6300 block of Almeda Road, near the Houston Zoo.

Another student was robbed of their vehicle Saturday night in Lot 4A by five suspects, two of whom were wielding handguns — though one of these may have been an air pistol, which was found in the vehicle when it was recovered, according to a security alert sent out after the incident.

A student was also robbed of their vehicle — a black 2016 Kia — by two suspects on Jan. 7 while rollerblading on top of the Cullen Oaks parking garage. According to the security alert, the suspects overpowered the victim when they refused to give up their keys and wallet. One of the two suspects also drove off in a white Kia 4-door with a dented trunk with an unidentified driver.

The suspects in all three cases were black males aged 18-25, according to the security alerts.

While the email from Moore did not go into specifics about the increased patrols, UHPD Acting Capt. Bret Collier told The Cougar in an email Tuesday afternoon that the department had approved the addition of four new officer positions in the department for ATV patrols across campus.

“This is not directly in response to any one incident but should help to reduce criminal opportunities and increase access to our officers for our community,” Collier said.

Along with the announcement of increased patrols Moore also advised students in his email to be aware of their surroundings while on campus at night, to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity they see.

“I can’t guarantee that crime will not impact our University, but together we can foster a campus that is as safe and secure as possible,” he said.

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