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Robbers active around two UH campuses

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Call it a target of opportunity in the heart of Cougar country.

Shortly after 9 a.m. Monday, a criminal stepped inside the C-Store at the University of Houston's Calhoun Lofts and demanded cash.

"No one ever saw a weapon, so it hasn't been determined whether the person actually had a gun or not," said Ceaser Moore, UH Police Chief.

The robber fled to the Red Carpet Inn off the Gulf Freeway in a Ford pickup truck ripped off four hours earlier in La Marque, Texas.  A Houston Police patrol spotted the suspect's plates and pursued.

"A brief chase ensued and the driver of the vehicle who was also the robber, who was also the person who car jacked the truck in La Marque, hopped out of that truck and car jacked a Kia and he drove away," Moore said.

The suspect remains at large.

Call it chance.  Call it coincidence.  Fact is this is at least the second time in a matter of weeks robbers threatening violence have targeted the UH main campus.

UH police eventually caught the first crew and fully expect to have this latest thief in custody soon as well.

"We have detained two suspects related to this robbery already and we have a pretty good idea who the robber is.  I think that was pretty quick response," Moore said.

It's not just the main campus.  At UH-Clear Lake, students have been collectively warned that gun-wielding thieves have been striking the immediate area.

At the Armand apartments, about a mile from campus, a student was robbed at gunpoint.  Two hours later, the same crime occurred at the Denny's just across the road from UHCL classrooms.

Students say they welcome the alert and are heeding the warning.

"Stay together in groups and don't go alone or at nigh time walking around," said Jagrit Chengala, a student at UHCL.

None of the armed robberies occurred on UH-Clear Lake property and Police Chief Paul Willingham says there hasn't been a gun related crime on campus during his five years leading the department.

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