Police search for suspect in multiple armed robberies early this morning in campus area

Two individuals reported being robbed at gunpoint in the campus area this morning, within 20 minutes of each other. Both incidents happened around 5 a.m. Police are still looking for suspects. Considering the similarities in crimes and appearance, police assume the crimes share a common suspect. They are also considering that the crimes may be related to similar incidents that happened in Portland

At 4:45 a.m., a man was standing on the corner of 20th and Patterson talking on his cell phone. A black male, mid-20s, wearing all black clothing approached the man and demanded he turn over his phone. The man refused, at which point the suspect pulled out a gun and pointed it at him. The man gave the suspect his phone and other valuables. The suspect ordered him to turn down an alley and run, and the man complied. When he stopped running and looked back, the suspect had disappeared.

EPD investigated the area with officers and search dogs, but were unable to locate the suspect.

At 5:05 a.m., a woman near the Delta Delta Delta sorority house reported a similar crime. A black male in all black clothing had approached her with a gun and demanded her phone and valuables. Once he had the items he fled the scene.

EPD investigated the first incident, while UOPD investigated the second. After recognizing the similarities in crimes, the two departments exchanged information and are now assisting each other in the investigation.

“Due to the proximity and the timing it would seem likely that it is the same suspect,” Lieutenant Carolyn Mason said. “The method of operation, MO, is similar, the demand for the cell phone is similar.”

EPD noticed a tweet from the Portland Police Bureau that mentioned a series of cell phone robberies committed in Portland a few days ago. They are considering the possibility that the crimes are related, but they have not yet contacted the Portland Police.

Mason said the crimes are new for Eugene, but that cell phone thefts are common in big cities. EPD and UOPD warn people in the campus area to be aware of their surroundings and to call one of the departments if they have any information.

“I would definitely encourage folks to be aware of their surroundings and, especially if it’s dark out, to maybe be inside or a in secure place,” Mason said.

The suspect was described as a black male, around age 20, presumably a college student, Mason said. He was wearing black pants and a black hoodie, with a black puffy vest over it.

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Noah McGraw

Noah McGraw

Noah is the 2016-17 Senior News Editor at the Emerald. His earliest journalistic influences were Tom Wolfe, Eric Schlosser and Batman. He loves '70s comics, '80s action movies and '90s music.