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Police Beat 7: Fraudulent crime in the summertime

The+Daily+Wildcats+police+beat+brings+students+up+to+speed+on+campus+crime+and+ways+to+stay+safe+at+the+University+of+Arizona.+
Maddie French
The Daily Wildcat’s police beat brings students up to speed on campus crime and ways to stay safe at the University of Arizona.

Crime doesn’t stop for final exams or after students have left campus. This edition of Police Beat will get you up to speed on some notable crimes and trends from the end of the semester and after. Additionally, Police Beat will continue into the summer to keep readers in and beyond Tucson in the know on all things campus activity. 

Male and female students’ argument ends in brawl 

On April 25, officers were flagged down on Park Avenue by a witness to an assault that had just occurred. 

Upon interviewing the witness and suspects, officers determined that a fight had broken out between a male and female student that had been romantic partners three weeks prior to the incident. 

According to the case report, the students got into a verbal argument about the male student going out with his friends, including a new girl he is dating, and not inviting the female student. 

The witness reported that the fight “escalated very quickly,” with the female student pushing and pepper spraying the male student in the eyes and face. The male student then pushed the female student to the ground and reportedly hit her in the back of the head three times. 

Medical professionals evaluated both parties and advised the female student to go to the hospital, to which she declined transport or further evaluation. 

Both were arrested and booked into Pima County Jail, a Dean of Students referral was completed for both students and a detective was notified. 

Sorority banner thieves scale Arizona Stadium 

On May 3, a witness reported that three individuals wearing ski masks jumped over a wall near Gate 3 into the Arizona Stadium. The three individuals were later determined to be students, and were found to have stolen a banner from the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority. 

The students were ultimately arrested on charges of 2nd degree trespassing, possession of a fictitious ID, minor in possession of alcohol and theft. The students were booked into Pima County Jail and the sorority banner was returned. 

Student coerced to buy Xbox gift cards under threat of finger loss

On May 8, a student reported being a victim of extortion. The student was contacted by suspects through Telegram, a text messaging app. 

The suspects knew the student’s name, cell phone number and had his photo. They demanded that the student purchase multiple Xbox gift cards and threatened to cut the student’s finger off if he did not comply. 

According to the case report, the student listened to the suspects and purchased 6-8 of the gift cards, spending an estimated $2000. One or both of the suspects sent a threatening message saying “I will come next semester” to persuade the student to send more money. 

This is an ongoing investigation, and the student has indicated that they want to press charges if the suspects are identified. 

Wave of locker theft at South Rec Center

In the last few weeks of the semester, the University of Arizona Police Department noted seven cases of theft from the Student  Recreation Center. According to UAPD records, items were frequently stolen from unlocked lockers or lockers that were found with combination locks cut. 

The report also noted that in all of the cases, only cash was stolen, and remaining items were found abandoned in random locations throughout the building. 

As the Rec Center continues operations during the summer, gym-goers may find it wise to keep their belongings in close sight when visiting the facility. 

Fraudsters pose as UAPD

On May 21, the parents of two UA student athletes were contacted by an individual claiming to be Lieutenant Beau Barber of UAPD.

One of the parents was met with a request from the individual for a monetary exchange in lieu of booking their son into Pima County Jail.

The second parent was told that their son was booked into Pima County Jail and that the parent needed to pay a $1,000 bond in exchange for their son’s release.

Both parents stated that the phone number they were contacted by was the non-emergency UAPD number, however neither of the parents gave any money to the individual claiming to be Barber.

On May 31, a parent of another UA athlete was contacted by the same individual, described as having a southern accent.

The individual now claimed to be “Lieutenant Andre Lyko of the special operations division” and gave the parents a fake badge number, according to the case report. The suspect then asked for a $2,500 bond to release the athlete from Pima County Jail.

The parent did not give any money to the suspect and asked the suspect to stop bothering them, threatening to involve the cybercrimes unit. The suspect reportedly responded that he would “continue to do this to whoever he wants.”

The parent told UAPD that the District Attorney’s Office was contacted and that their cybercrimes unit would be conducting further investigation.

Burglary at Theta Xi

On May 25 at 10:09 p.m., UAPD responded to a report of burglary at the Theta Xi Fraternity house. The last occupant of the house had been gone from 4:30 p.m. on May 23 to 3:45 p.m. on May 25.

When the occupant returned, he found the back door propped open, bags inside his room that were rummaged through and multiple of the inside security cameras unplugged.

Officers cleared the building and did not locate any suspects. There were approximately 14 rooms with damage to their door’s frames, doorknobs and locks. The common areas appeared to be undisturbed.

Upon further investigation, footage of a male carrying two bags entering the house through the front doors on May 24 was obtained. The footage revealed that the suspect left the house a day later with many more bags through the back of the house.

On May 27, UAPD was informed that a man was seen inside Theta Xi from a live video feed of the residence. UAPD searched the residence and detained a male suspect who matched the description of the original case inside the residence.

The suspect admitted to being in the building the day of the original case and to having items stolen from the residence in his backpack. Upon searching the suspect, officers also discovered 3.8 grams of methamphetamine along with 46 “blues” mushrooms and other paraphernalia.

The suspect was booked into Pima County Jail for burglary, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of prescription drugs and a warrant that was out for his arrest.

The suspect was also issued an exclusionary order.


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