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Cal Poly Pomona student bound, robbed in 1 of 2 campus robberies

October 26, 2012 |  1:43 pm

Cal Poly Pomona police were investigating Friday whether two armed robberies of students on campus this week were committed by the same gunman. 

A student reported Thursday at 9:45 p.m. that a man walked through an open door into his first-floor room at Alamitos Residence Hall, brandished a gun, bound him and fled with personal property. The student, who was not identified, immediately freed himself and reported the crime to campus officials.

In the other incident, two Cal Poly Pomona students were robbed Sunday about 9:30 p.m. by a man who passed them on a walkway adjacent to Parking Lot B, then circled back to confront them and demand their belongings, according to university police.

The students handed over a purse, wallet, laptop computer and other personal items after the robber lifted his shirt to reveal what they believed was the handle of a gun tucked into his waistband. The suspect fled, police said. None of the students was harmed. 

In both cases, the suspect is described as a black man in his 20s wearing a dark hoodie jacket. The robber in the Thursday incident is additionally described as 6-feet-2 with short hair and an unshaven face who wore dark jeans and smelled of cigarette smoke.

Campus police are developing a sketch of the suspect but students should not attempt to approach or apprehend him, said university spokeswoman Uyen Mai.

She said the residence halls are locked but there were no signs of forced entry in Thursday’s incident. Police did a room-by-room search of the 300-student Alamitos residence hall and set up a perimeter, assisted by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, but did not find the suspect.

Mai said the university has launched a safety campaign, increasing police patrols, housing staff rounds of residence halls and meetings to remind students of ways to protect themselves.

 “It’s very unusual for us to experience any kind of violent crime,” Mai said. “Our campus is mostly a farm that is far away from any urban issues.”

Two robberies were reported on campus in 2011, the most recent year for which full statistics are available. This spring, two robberies of cellphones occurred within a week of each other in the southwest end of campus but authorities believe they are unrelated to the crimes this week.

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-- Teresa Watanabe
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