University of Houston Police Chief Ceaser Moore today (Sept. 28) announced the arrests of two suspects, and said campus police have identified other persons of interest, following three robberies that took place last week on or near the campus.
One of the suspects is the alleged gunman in the second robbery, Moore said. None of the suspects live near or frequent the areas surrounding UH, he said. The investigation is ongoing, and it has not been determined if the robberies are related.
“The gunman was identified by a spectacular investigation by UH personnel,” Moore said. “We are still investigating the possibility that the arrested parties are part of a criminal enterprise operating throughout our city.”
Moore cited the work of his recently appointed Anti-Crime Team for helping to solve the case. The team is comprised of Sgt. Walter Lucas, team leader; Sgt Paul Mauro; Cpl. LaTorsha Batts; Cpl. Troy Golden; and Officer Isaac Barnett.
Cedric Bandoh, president of the UH Student Government Association, praised the work of the UH Department of Public Safety, as well as the university administration’s commitment to campus security.
“Today's news that we've made some arrests definitely shows that the administration and our police department have taken swift action in trying to solve these robberies,” he said.
“The arrests make it much more settling to go about our business on campus. I am confident, with the dedication of the task force the chief has in place, that moving forward we will bring the others involved in these crimes to justice as well.”
Ricardo Jamel Tangarife, also known as “Pretty Rickey,” was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery less than 24 hours after the warrant was filed. He was wanted in connection with a Sept. 19 armed robbery that took place in Parking Lot 9C, the southernmost parking lot on the campus.
In the incident, a lone gunman and a getaway driver robbed a UH student of his cell phone and wallet containing money and credit cards at about 3:30 p.m. After the robbery, police said, the gunman and a female suspect proceeded directly to Memorial City Mall and made purchases with the stolen credit cards in two stores within 45 minutes of the crime. These purchases were captured on video.
The female also received additional improper assistance from a store clerk, Anthony Theus, while using stolen credit cards, Moore said. Theus has been arrested and charged with credit card abuse. Police have identified the female suspect and are pursuing a warrant for her arrest. The getaway driver in the second robbery, whom police have not identified, is a person of interest in the case.
“It is my hope that these arrests reassure the UH community that all efforts are being made to protect the security and well-being of all UH students, faculty, staff and visitors,” Moore said.