Tuesday, November 13, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 59


 
 









 

UHPD increases patrols after three on-campus robberies

By Ken Fountain
Daily Cougar Staff

The UH Police Department has stepped up patrols of "high-targeted areas" on campus in response to three armed robberies that occurred within
three days last week, the department's investigations chief said.

The three incidents were "crimes of opportunity," and do not necessarily indicate a particular pattern of increased crime on campus, Lt. Roger
Byars said.

There are no solid leads yet in any of the ongoing investigations of the three incidents, he said.

On Nov. 5 at about 11:46 p.m., university studies freshman Brandon Butler was leaving Cullen Oaks after studying with friends. Shortly after getting
into his car, which was parked about 20 yards from the main Cullen Oaks entrance, a black man opened the unlocked driver's side door to Butler's
car and pointed a semi-automatic pistol at him.

Reached by phone Monday night, Butler said his assailant told him "he had been scoping me out for a while. He knew there weren't any cops
around."

The man, described as being in his 20s, 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall and 150 to 170 pounds, ordered Butler out of the car and sped off in it
down Cullen Boulevard toward North MacGregor Way.

Butler was uninjured. He said the car was later found stripped in Richmond.

Butler said he thought there should be increased police patrols of the main residential parking lots at the Quadrangle, Moody Towers and Cullen
Oaks.

"They say they have cops patrolling, but I think they should have cops parked in the parking lot at night so it won't be so easy to rob someone," he
said.

At around 8:20 p.m. Thursday, a 21-year old female student was approached by two black males, both armed with semi-automatic pistols, as she
was entering her car in Lot 16D. One of the men demanded that she turn over her purse and car. She gave them the money in her purse, and
offered to give them another $200 with her automatic teller machine card if they would allow her to keep her car. They agreed.

She drove the suspects to an ATM located at the corner of Scott Street and Elgin Boulevard. After withdrawing the money, she ordered the
suspects out of the car once she had driven onto Scott Street. She last saw them walking eastbound on Rosalie Street.

The first suspect is described as about 20 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall and 160 pounds. The second suspect is described as 16 to 18 years old,
about 5 feet 10 inches tall, 150 to 170 pounds, wearing an "afro" hairstyle.

In the third incident, three students who were sitting in the breezeway under Horizons Cafe at Moody Towers at around 9 p.m. Thursday were
approached by two black men.

One of the students, computer science freshman Sean Fontenot, said one of the men pulled out a semi-automatic pistol while the other man stood
off to the side.

"We didn't have any money. They took our wallets and looked through them, and then they threw them back at us and ran off disappointed," he
said.

Another of the students, physics freshman Eric Carlin, said that after learning the students didn't have any money, the assailants asked if they had
cars. When the students said they did not, "they kind of stood there looking stupid, then ran off."

UHPD is seeking six to 10 new student recruits for Cougar Patrol to perform "non-policing functions," such as clerical work, to help free up UHPD
officers for patrolling, Byars said. He said the department will try to work around students' schedules for the part-time paid positions, but they are
actively seeking people who can work during day shifts.

Anyone with information or questions about any crimes on campus should call (713) 743-0600.
 
 
 

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