UH increases security after 3 robberies in week

Latest victim assaulted during robbery

Published On: Sep 21 2012 08:00:20 AM CDT   Updated On: Sep 21 2012 11:25:10 PM CDT
UH
HOUSTON -

A third student has been robbed at the University of Houston and officials are taking more steps to keep everyone safe on campus.

University police said a student was robbed around 8:45 p.m. Thursday in a parking lot across from the Bayou Oaks Apartments at 5019 Calhoun.

The most recent victim was University of Houston junior Andrew Hoffman.

Hoffman said he was getting into his car after class on Thursday night when the robber came up to him.

"He parked his car a couple rows back behind me, I think he was just waiting in the car," he said. Hoffman also said the suspect seemed young and nervous. "It didn't seem like he done that too many times before. Just some kid that lives around campus somewhere."

Investigators said a man with a gun demanded Hoffman's money. Hoffman told the robber he didn't have anything of value, then the robber hit him in the face. He wasn't seriously hurt.

The University of Houston engineering major realizes he was lucky that the robber didn't pull the trigger.

"Thank god he didn't fire a round, I'm really thankful I'm here," said Hoffman.

The suspect was only described African-American, 18 to 22 years old, skinny, tall, with short black hair and no facial hair.

Two similar robberies happened on Sunday and Wednesday. No suspects been identified in the robberies.

Police don't believe the crimes are linked.

University officials said they have increased patrols and adjusted patrol shifts to better safeguard parking lots and areas on the perimeter of campus. A task force to investigate the most recent crimes has been established.

"This team will follow up on the solve investigative work already under way by investigators within the department who have been diligently pursuing all leads," University of Houston President Renu Khator said.

The university also announced that it will hire a full-time crime prevention officer who will be stationed in the main library and be accessible to student, faculty and staff.

"Five new supervisors and five new patrol officers were added to the UHDPS force this week, with a goal toward being a better, stronger and faster police department," Khator said.

The university also released robbery statistics for the past three years. In 2009, there were a total of 16 robberies. That went down to nine in 2010 and only two in 2011.