Police at University of California Riverside are beefing up patrols and warning students to take extra precautions after five armed robberies went down near campus in a single hour earlier this week, a spokesman for the university announced Friday.
Four of the robberies were off campus and one was on campus property, Kris Lovekin, spokesman for the university, said in an email to NBC4. The number of attackers in each incident range from one to as many as three.
"The descriptions of the suspect and the vehicle are remarkably similar," Lovekin said. "But police can not (sic) say for sure whether we are dealing with a single suspect."
The attacks' proximity to campus (pictured below) prompted UCR police to increase patrols and remind students to walk in groups. A Campus Safety Escort Service is available if they need to walk home or to their car at night.
All of the armed robberies went down between about 8:05 and 8:50 p.m. on Jan. 16, and all but one of the victims was uninjured.
UC Riverside police released these details about the attacks:
8:05 p.m. near Linden Street and Rustin Avenue
- A victim was robbed at gunpoint of his bag containing workout clothes and his cellphone.
- Two men fled the scene in a dark grey 1997 Honda Accord, which was driven by a third person and had damage to the passenger side rear quarter panel.
- Partial license plate: 3UPD
- One of the men is described as African American, about 6 feet 4 inches tall with a muscular build, curly hair and long sideburns. He was wearing a white t-shirt and black baggy basketball-style shorts and had a semi-automatic handgun.
- The second robber was described only as an African-American man.
8:10 p.m. near Big Springs Road and Mt. Vernon Avenue
- Two victims were robbed at gunpoint by a man who exited a dark-colored sedan. The attacker took the victim’s purse and drove from the scene north on Mt. Vernon Avenue.
- The armed robber is described as an African-American man, between 19 and 20 years old, about 6 feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds.
- He was wearing a dark grey jacket and displayed a black handgun.
8:25 p.m. near Blain Street and Rustin Avenue
- A victim was robbed at gunpoint of their iTouch by a man who drove away from the scene in a 1990s dark grey four-door sedan. The attacker first fled northbound on Rustin Avenue then westbound on Massachusetts Avenue.
- The armed robber is described as an African-American man in his 20s, about 6 feet tall weighing 170 pounds.
- He’s said to have a goatee and was wearing a green and yellow baseball hat, and a black baggy hooded sweatshirt and jeans. He showed a black semi-automatic handgun.
8:30 p.m. in UC Riverside parking lot 30 at the top of the large staircase from Canyon Crest Drive
- Three men robbed two people at gunpoint before driving off in a dark silver, four-door sedan with a possible partial license plate “4F.”
- One of the victims struggled with one of the men and was struck in the head but not seriously injured.
- All of the armed robbers are described as African-American men in their early 20s. One was wearing a red and white plaid hooded sweatshirt with light pants and displayed a black semi-automatic handgun.
8:50 p.m. near the park at Lochmoor Drive and Fair Isle Drive
- A victim was robbed of their cellphone and wallet by three men.
- One of the attackers displayed a handgun and was wearing a black hoodie. All three robbers are described as African-American men.