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5 armed robberies near UC Riverside put campus on alert

January 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Officials at the University of California, Riverside are warning students following five armed robberies near the campus Wednesday night. The search for the suspects is underway.

Jacob Moore, one of the victims, told Eyewitness News about the moments after a man stuck a semi-automatic gun in his face. The UCR sophomore said he saw the man jog over to him as he walked to his car. At first he thought the man just needed help with directions.

"I just put my hands up, and I was like, 'Whoa, okay, okay,'" Moore said. "I didn't think that he was going to pull out a gun like he did and point it at my face and say 'Give me everything you got.'"

Moore says he then heard the suspect tell his accomplice to hit the 19-year-old in the head. That's when Moore says he made his move.

"I ducked and I threw my bag over so he wouldn't yank it off my head, and I threw out my phone and my car keys and the basketball shorts and I laid down prone," Moore said.

The two men ran away with a bag of worn sneakers, gym shorts and a wallet containing Moore's student ID and a $25 gift certificate to Red Lobster. They also took his cellphone.

But Moore managed to take something of theirs.

"I got up and I saw a bicyclist, someone I didn't know. I started screaming to her, 'Get the license plate, get the license plate!'"

University officials say they have stepped up patrols and sent out an email alerting students. It's a warning students heeded Friday.

"In case I am at the library late at night, I'll probably just call a campus escort instead of walking by myself, because I am scared," said student Stephanie Otoo.

The five robberies happened in a span of one hour. University officials say patrols are being stepped-up to help keep students safe. Anyone who comes into contact with the suspects is advised to give up their goods and stay safe.

The getaway vehicle is described as a four-door, dark gray or silver Honda. The bicyclist was able to take down the partial plate No. 3UPDCF or 4F.

Anyone with information on the robberies is asked to call the Riverside Police Department at (951) 353-7135.


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