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On-campus armed robbery results in one arrest

Three armed intruders held a USF student at gunpoint Saturday night and stole approximately $100 worth of his property.

One was arrested early Sunday morning.

Around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, a 17-year-old suspect not affiliated with USF was arrested and charged with armed robbery.

University Police (UP) spokesman Chris Daniel said information about the suspect, could not be released, as he is a juvenile. The suspect is currently being held at a juvenile assessment center.

The victim, whose identity also could not be revealed due to the ongoing investigation, sat in his car around 9:40 p.m. Saturday night in lot 43, located off Fletcher Avenue by the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute, when the three suspects approached his vehicle.

The victim was not injured, and University Police were notified by a 911 call from a cell phone. The identity of the caller could not be revealed due to the continued investigation.

UP deployed officers on duty, in addition to supplementary patrol units from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, which also deployed a helicopter.

The suspects reportedly traveled west of the parking lot, and at 10:43 p.m. USF Tampa students were sent a MoBull text and email alerts with simple instructions: “Remain alert. Avoid area. Follow police instructions.”

After a search, Daniel said the area was deemed safe, though the suspects were not immediately found.

“Once a thorough search of the area was conducted and, to our best determination, the situation no longer poses a direct threat to the USF community, we can establish the area to be clear,” he said.

By 11:30 p.m., Tampa students received MoBull messages stating that normal activities could resume, but students were urged to “remain vigilant.”

Daniel said as of Sunday that other suspects are currently being investigated.

“Because we’re an open access university, this could just be an anomaly in which the victim and the suspects were in the wrong place at the same time,” he said.

Daniel said he advises individuals facing similar situations to be as compliant as possible.

“Life safety is the most important issue,” he said. “Other things can be replaced.”

– Reporting by Divya Kumar