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Cops arrest suspected UA-area thief

By Audrey DeAnda
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
September 22, 1999

A man believed to be involved in a campus-area robbery - the latest in a string of similar incidents - was arrested by Tucson police Sunday night and turned over to university police, a UAPD spokesman said.

It is unknown whether the man arrested on Sunday was involved with any of the six other campus-area robberies reported since the semester began, said University of Arizona police Sgt. Michael Smith.

The Arizona Daily Wildcat has chosen to withhold information about the suspect at the request of police, to avoid damaging their continuing investigation.

Earlier Sunday night, two UA students were walking near East Fifth Street and North Highland Avenue at about 8:30 p.m. when a bluish-silver car pulled up to them, university police reports stated.

The students said the driver of the car jumped out of the vehicle and approached them with a gun, then pointed the gun at one student and demanded her purse. He then grabbed the purse from her arm, returned to the vehicle and drove away, reports stated.

Tucson Police Department Sgt. Brett Klein said officers noticed a vehicle matching the description of the campus robbery suspect's car, along with descriptions of other robberies that have occurred around the city.

When officers attempted to stop the vehicle, the car sped away, Klein said.

Police chased the vehicle down South Kino Parkway until the car stopped at the intersection of North Palo Verde Boulevard and East Irvington Road, where the driver fled on foot.

A police helicopter located the driver in a nearby desert area, Klein said.

According to police, two other people were in the car - one of whom was arrested for an outstanding warrant and released.

The driver was cited on suspicion of grand theft auto, felony fleeing and endangering others, Klein said.

Tucson police discovered property in the car that belonged to a UA student who had been robbed earlier that night.

UAPD detectives were notified of the situation and they arrested the man on suspicion of committing the campus robbery.

In addition to Sunday's robbery, police have had reports of four other incidents within the past two weeks.

Some of the similar robberies have occurred near residence halls, such as Manzanita-Mohave Residence Hall, 1000 N. Park Ave., and Kaibab-Huachuaca Residence Hall, 922 E. Fourth St.

Police encourage students to take all precautions when walking at night, including using the ASUA Escort Service and not walking alone or in poorly-lit areas.

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