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Hurricane Experts Available for Media

University of Houston experts, including James Lawrence, associate professor of geosciences, are prepared to comment on the topics related to hurricane season preparation and response.

Richard Bonnin
rbonnin@uh.edu
713-743-8155

UH Campus Police Arrest Suspect in Weekend Robbery25-Year-Old Male Confesses to Crime, Has Extensive Criminal History

April 14, 2009 - Houston - Thanks to enterprising investigative work by police officers with the University of Houston Department of Public Safety (UHDPS), a 25-year-old male has been arrested and charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping in connection with an incident that occurred in a student parking lot on the UH campus at about 4:30 p.m., Saturday (April 11).

Leo Jacobs, whom police believe lives in nearby Rosenberg, Texas, in Fort Bend County, is in Harris County Jail under bonds totaling $60,000. Jacobs, who is not a UH student, has an extensive criminal history and is a suspect in at least one other robbery investigation in Rosenberg, said UHDPS Assistant Chief of Police Brad Wigtil.

Wigtil credits the arrest to “good old-fashioned police work.”
 
The victim of Saturday’s crime, a 25-year-old UH student, told police an armed man, waiting in the student parking lot, forced him into his own car. The student said he was then forced to drive to a local ATM and an ATM in Rosenberg. The suspect made three phone calls using the victim’s cell phone. The student was unharmed in the incident, Wigtil said.

UHDPS Sgt. John Williams and Paul Mauro, an officer assigned to the campus police Investigative Division – with the assistance of the City of Houston Police Department and the U.S. Marshall’s Office – were able to track down the two people who received the phone calls from the suspect. After initially being unable to make contact with those individuals, campus police interviewed their neighbors seeking more information about the suspect. That led the two acquaintances of the suspect to contact police on their own.

Meanwhile, Jacobs returned to Houston in the victim’s car. The vehicle broke down not far from the UH campus near Frenchy’s restaurant on Scott Street, causing the suspect to exit the car at about 10:50 p.m., Monday. UHDPS, which had a description of the suspect from a video taken at the ATM, detained Jacobs for questioning. He then confessed to the crimes, Wigtil said.

The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department, Rosenberg Police Department, the Richmond Police Department and the Texas Southern University campus police assisted UH investigators with the case.

“Networking is everything,” Wigtil said. “I also want to compliment the UH student who was victimized. He kept his composure throughout the ordeal and did an excellent job of observing and providing us with important details that will be of great help in prosecuting the case.”

Nearly 50 police officers and two dozen security officers patrol the UH campus and more than 500 security cameras enable police to monitor the campus around the clock. Statistically, the university remains as safe and secure as most areas of Houston and safer than many, said UHDPS Chief Malcolm Davis.

The university’s continuing crime prevention efforts include:
  • Video monitoring of all campus parking lots and other selected areas – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Security assessments to determine campus strengths and weaknesses
  • Increased lighting and emergency call boxes throughout campus
  • Walk in the Dark Program – a guided tour designed to observe parts of the campus that might lack sufficient lighting or pose safety hazards
  • Safety escorts for students on campus at night
  • Ongoing safety training programs for emergency personnel


About the University of Houston   
The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 36,000 students.