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UTPA Police search for aggravated robbery suspect
By Office of University Relations
Posted: 01/18/2008
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The University of Texas-Pan American Police Department is requesting assistance from the public to help apprehend a suspect wanted for an aggravated robbery, which occurred on the campus Thursday, Jan. 17.

The reported aggravated robbery occurred in Parking Lot-C, the parking area located east of the Wellness and Recreational Sports Complex on Sugar Road, at approximately 8:25 p.m. The victim of the aggravated robbery, a male UTPA student and employee, reported he was returning to his vehicle parked in Lot-C from the Wellness and Recreational Sports Complex when he was approached from behind by a male subject, who asked for the time, and then demanded the individual’s wallet. The suspect then assaulted and stabbed the individual in the abdomen. The victim was taken to a local hospital where he was treated and released.

“We are thankful to report that the individual escaped serious injury and is recovering at home with his family. Our thoughts are with him at this time and we wish him a speedy recuperation,” Assistant Chief James Loya said.

SUSPECT DESCRIPTION

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, in his 20s, approximately 5’6” feet in height with a slender build. At the time of the assault he was wearing a dark blue baseball cap with a white raised embroidered signature emblem on the front, a grey in color ski jacket with a grey “hoodie” and blue jeans. He was also seen wearing grey cloth gloves. The suspect used a small black handle grip knife to commit the offense.

In addition, the suspect was seen entering a green four-door Pontiac Grand Am or Grand Prix. The University Police would like to stress the paint on the vehicle’s rear bumper was peeling and cracking.

CAMPUS SAFETY TIPS

“Our student’s safety is of utmost priority and we are asking members of the UTPA community – students, staff and faculty – to be aware of their surroundings as they walk to their vehicles, particularly in the evening, and to report any and all suspicious activity immediately,” Loya said. “In the meantime, the campus is on high alert and we will be beefing up our vehicle and foot patrols to ensure the safety of the UTPA community.”

The UTPA Police are providing the following safety tips to students, faculty and staff:

– Pay attention to your surroundings, particularly in the evening. Avoid talking on the phone or listening to any type of electronic device (iPod, walkman, MP3, etc.) when walking to your vehicle or other destination as it will distract you from what is going on in your surrounding environment.

– Park in a well-lighted area of the campus.

– If possible walk in pairs or in a group.

– Program the UTPA Police Department’s number, 956/316-7151, into your cell phones to have it readily available in case of an emergency.

The University Police Department is asking anyone with information that might be helpful to this investigation to come forward and contact the department at 956/316-7151 or at crimeline@utpa.edu.

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