DAVIS (CBS13) — There have been five armed robberies in less than three weeks in Davis and now there’s a possible break for police.
Police have identified at least one suspect and are actively searching for him. On Friday, police identified Eric Paul Rodriguez as the suspect wanted in connection to the October 5 robbery in North Davis.
In all five cases, detectives say the suspects approach the victims on a street or sidewalk and threaten them with a handgun. Police say most of the victims are young, students, and walking alone at night.
CBS13 sat down exclusively with one victim, a UC Davis student who didn’t wish to be identified.
“It was probably one of the most scariest shocking moments of my life,” he said.
He was unlocking his bike at a North Davis apartment complex off Alvarado Avenue to go to the gym around 10 p.m. the night of September 27. It was just hours after he wrapped up classes at UC Davis on his first day back to school.
“I just remember some voice behind me while I was unlocking my bike. I just had to do what he said cause I didn’t know if it was real or fake,” said the sophomore student.
He says the men were wearing hoodies one stood back while the other asked the student to hand over everything in his pockets.
“It was all pretty scary, but the scariest part was when he pulled out a gun…that’s when I froze and gave him everything I had…I’ve never had a gun pointed at me,” he said.
The 18-year-old gave the armed men his earbuds and they ran off.
“I didn’t think it would happen at my apartment complex, I thought it was safe here,” he said.
This is now the fifth armed robbery and Davis and just weeks. A UC Davis visiting professor was also robbed at gunpoint. He wasn’t hurt but got robbed of a hard drive with years of scientific data.
“We have one suspect identified and we are actively searching for him,” said Paul Doroshov, Davis Deputy Police Chief.
Officers did locate and pursue the robbers following an October 5th incident. Although they escaped capture after a short pursuit, the vehicle, gun and items used in the robbery were recovered. At least one of the suspects has been identified.
Police say the incidents may be connected and do feel the city is being watched.
“We know we’ve been targeted. We’ve talked to people we’ve arrested and they’ve told us that they target the city and come from out of town,” said Doroshov.
As for the young victim, he has a message for other students who may think this could never happen to them.
“You have to be careful not to walk alone especially at night, and get off your phones,” he said.
The student’s incident happened about two miles away from the UC Davis campus. Police remind folks to be vigilant, to travel in groups at night, and keep clear of distractions with phones.