UPDATED: Student bound in dorm room in second armed robbery at Cal Poly Pomona this week

Courtesy of Cal Poly Pomona

POMONA — A student was bound and robbed inside his dorm room at Cal Poly Pomona late Thursday in the second robbery carried out on campus this week, possibly by the same gunman.
The robbery occurred about 9:45 p.m. at the Alamitos Residence Hall, Cal Poly Pomona University spokeswoman Uyen Mai said. The male student robbed and bound during the incident was not injured.
An armed man of a similar description robbed two female students on a campus walkway between the dorms and soccer field Sunday, officials added.
“It is jarring for the campus,” Mai said. “It’s very rare on this campus to have any sort of violent crime.
In the most recent robbery, the victim was bound in his dorm room before the suspect, who was armed with a handgun, fled with computers, according to university officials and initial reports from the scene.
“We are determining how that individual got into the residence hall,” Mai said. Campus housing buildings are kept locked 24-hours a day.
“Only residents have keys,” she added. “Visitors have to be escorted by residents to get in.”
Officials described Thursday’s robber as a black man in his mid-20s, of thin build, about 6 feet 2 inches tall, and unshaven. He wore a dark-colored hooded sweat shirt and dark jeans, and smelled of cigarettes, Mai said.
Another robbery carried out by a suspect of a similar description took place about 9:30 p.m. Sunday, according to university police.
Two students were walking between the dorms and the soccer field, near South Campus Drive and Temple Avenue, when a man passed them, Cal Poly Pomona police said in a written statement.
“He then apparently circled back behind them and told them to keep walking, then demanded their belongings,” according to the police statement. “When challenged by the students, he raised his shirt to show that he had what appeared to be a handgun in his waistband. They gave him a purse and other property and he fled into the darkness.”
The robber was not found during a search of the campus with help from the Pomona Police Department, officials added. A man was briefly detained, but the victims indicated he was not the person responsible for the crime.
Due to the fact there are several bus stops in the area, police said the robber may have boarded a bus to flee.
Authorities described him as a black man in his 20s, of thin build. He wore a dark gray hooded sweat shirt and jean shorts.
The suspect descriptions in the two crimes bore striking similarities, leading police to investigate the possibility that the same man is responsible for both.
All three victims of the two robberies were adults, officials said.
Though activities continued as normal at the residence halls of Cal Poly Pomona Friday, several students said the incidents have left them on edge.
“He got into our home, basically,” said freshman Mauricio Martinez, who lives in the Alamitos Residence Hall.
Martinez and other students said that in the past, it has not been uncommon for students to hold the doors to the building open to allow others to pass through out of courtesy, and to leave the doors to their dorm rooms open to foster a friendly atmosphere.
“I’m pretty sure no one’s going to leave their door open anymore,” Martinez said.
Freshman Omar Rodriguez said he first learned something was wrong in the building Thursday night when a resident advisor told him to stay in his dorm.
“When I found out it was an armed robbery, that’s scary,” he said.
The first floor of the Alamitos Residence Hall, where Thursday’s robbery took place, is male-only, students said. The other two floors on the building are co-ed, though male and female students are separated into different wings.
In response to the recent on-campus incidents, the campus has increased police patrols, sent out alerts to students and increased efforts toward campus safety education.
Students are being reminded to never allow strangers into dorm buildings, be aware of their surroundings at all times, travel with others when possible, avoid dark and secluded areas, and program the campus police department’s direct phone number into their cell phones, Mai said.
Additionally, “Do not to be afraid of reporting suspicious activity or behavior,” Mai added. “If you’re in doubt, let the police figure it out.”
Authorities were working with the victims and a police artist to create a suspect sketch or sketches, Mai said. Once completed, “We are hoping to distribute that far and wide.”
Anyone with information was asked to call university police at 909-869-3070. Tips can also be left anonymously by calling 909-869-3399.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email