Rice University student mugged while waiting for bus
HOUSTON -- Security is being beefed up on and around the campus of Rice University, after police report an increase in the number of robberies, including a student robbed at gunpoint just this week.
Rice University Police say the student was robbed by a man as she was waiting for a bus Tuesday night. That armed robbery has Rice students and neighbors near this campus very concerned right now. They're hoping an increased police presence now will make a difference.
It was in a parking lot off Stockton behind Rice Stadium where campus police say a female student was robbed at gunpoint just after 9pm Tuesday.
"We wouldn't have expected something like that to happen in this part of town, so it's pretty surprising," said neighbor Megan Monks.
Students and women we talked to jogging near campus say that crime has them concerned. Sccording to police, the victim was waiting at Bus Stop B when a strange car approached her. Police say an unidentified man jumped out with a gun and demanded her money.
"It's a little scary," said student Franco Bettati. "We're very glad that she wasn't hurt."
Police say the student quickly gave up her cell phone and wallet before the robber and an accomplice drove off.
Jogger Kathleen Monks said, "I think it's scary. I think you do have to be aware of where you are at night and be aware of your surroundings and just try and put yourself in the safest situation possible."
Students are telling us there's a noticeably stronger police presence on and around campus right now. Rice University Police say increased crime has them patrolling vulnerable areas more. They say they've even hired uniformed security guards for extra patrols.
Megan said, "I'll definitely be carrying some pepper spray."
Police say the suspect is described as a black male in his 20s, approximately 5'8", thin build, clean shaven, with short hair. He was wearing a red t-shirt at the time of the attack. No description of the vehicle is available.
If you see anyone matching this description or have other information about this incident, you're asked to call Rice University Police at 713-348-6000.
Many on campus say they'll be taking extra steps for personal safety from now on.
"We like to jog together," Kathleen said. "We think it's safer to just jog with somebody and just have somebody there with you."
Rice police remind students of the following crime prevention and safety tips:
- Program 713-348-6000 in your phone. If something does not look right, please do not hesitate to contact RUPD.
- Any suspicious activity or emergencies on or near campus should be immediately reported to RUPD, or you may contact the local police department in whatever city you are in if not on campus.
- This number will also connect you with the Night Escort Service, which will transport you back to the property after the regular shuttle service.
- Avoid walking alone if at all possible.
- Always let some know where you are and what time you will be arriving to your destination, so that if you don't show up someone can check on you to make sure you are okay.
- If you are a victim of a crime, please never fight back! Cooperate with the assailant and give them whatever they ask for and then immediately contact RUPD.
- Do not forget that there are emergency blue light phones located around campus, which can be used in an emergency to go directly to the RUPD dispatch.
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