Suspects charged in one of recent University of Houston campus robberies


UH Police Chief Ceasar Moore announced the charges during a Friday morning news conference about the three aggravated robberies that took place on or near the campus last week.

Police say Ricardo Jamel Tangarife, the alleged gunman, and Anthony Theus, the store clerk accused of knowingly accepting a stolen credit card, were arrested Thursday in the campus robbery that took place on September 19.

University of Houston police say that surveillance video helped lead to 22-year-old Tangarife's arrest. Authorities say the footage was taken inside Memorial City Mall last Wednesday, less than an hour after the suspect allegedly showed up on campus and robbed a UH student at gunpoint in broad daylight. Authorities discovered it was all a part of a bigger plan.

"He gets back into the vehicle with a driver which we have not identified and he drives to Memorial City Mall. Within 45 minutes of the robbery, he's making charges in two stores," Moore said.

Authorities say Tangarife, along with a woman identified as Sue Helen Ortiz, also known as "Roxy" and known to be a dancer at a local strip club, were both seen on surveillance using that credit card. Police say both bought several hundred dollars' worth of adult and children's shoes.

They say Theus, 21, was also in on the credit card scam.

"He was the person that readily accepted the stolen credit cards," Moore said.

Police are investigating to determine if these suspects could be connected to the other two robberies as well.

Police are still searching for the 19-year-old Ortiz and say charges are expected to be filed soon. They are also investigating additional persons of interest, including the getaway driver.

"It is my hope that these arrests reassure the UH community that all efforts are being made to protect the security and well-being of all UH students, faculty, staff and visitors," Chief Moore said.

He added that none of the suspects live near or frequent the areas surrounding UH.

Tangarife is charged with aggravated robbery. Theus is charged with credit card abuse.

The announcement follows the appointment last Friday of an investigative task force focused on solving the crimes and the hiring of five new campus police supervisors, five new patrol officers and a full-time crime prevention officer.

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