University to increase security following robberies

By Amanda Perez, Reporter, aperez@click2houston.com
Gianna Caserta, Reporter, gcaserta@click2houston.com
Kelci Johnston, News Associate Producer
Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:01:47 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 13 2013 11:23:08 PM CST

Dec. 13, 2013: The announcement came after six students were robbed at gunpoint in their dorm. None of the students were hurt and police said the three robbers got away with cell phones and wallets. Robert Arnold reports.

HOUSTON -

Late Friday the University of Houston's police chief announced he seeking to dramatically increase the number of security officers patrolling the campus.

The announcement came after six students were robbed at gunpoint in their dorm. None of the students were hurt and police said the three robbers got away with cell phones and wallets.

"I think it's so dangerous right now. I think, 'what's going to happen to me?'" said senior Hieu Huynah.

Huynah's concerns about campus safety were only amplified after hearing about this recent robbery.

"I go in a group with two or more people like that, so I feel safer," said Huynah.

Sophomore Jennifer Reiss said she too now travels in a group, especially since the robbery at the Law residence hall happened near her dorm.

"It's the first time I got a security escort back to my room," said Reiss.

Even though dorm entrances are locked, police believe the robbers got inside by following a student who swiped his access card. This prompted University police chief Ceaser Moore to issue a statement imploring students, "Do not let unknown people follow you into the residential halls or secure buildings without using their access card. While it may be uncomfortable not to hold a door open for another person, the security system and card access systems work best when this practice is followed."

"The fact they've come into our own residence halls, I feel like one of these morning it's going to be me," said student Shabelee Bowie.

One week before this robbery, shots were fired on campus as gunmen tried to rob an armored car. Since January the University has issued 15 security alerts about robberies happening on and around campus and one security alert concerning the theft of cell phones.

In a statement to faculty and students, Chief Moore wrote he is recruiting an additional 40 security officers to bolster a force that already has 50 police officers and 70 security officers. Chief Moore wrote he is hoping to add 10 security officers a month until the positions are filled. ?

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