Suspect arrested in campus kidnapping

April 14, 2009 12:33:39 PM PDT
Authorities say they've arrested a robber who kidnapped a student from the University of Houston campus.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

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 4:30pm, 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 University of Houston Department of Public Safety (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 10:50pm, 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."

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