Suspect, 20-year-old Solomon Bell, was arrested in the armed robbery and kidnapping of a San Jose State University student last week, according to University Police.
The crime occurred on Aug. 22 at the 7-Eleven on Sixth and San Salvador. The male victim was held at gunpoint and forced to withdraw an undisclosed amount of money from three different ATM machines. The victim was released soon after, unharmed, and made the call to San Jose Police Department at 2:39 p.m. from his dorm room, UPD Detective Tony Lee said.
Lee said, Bell had admitted to committing the crime to SJPD and was immediately booked into jail on Aug. 29. Bell is awaiting his trial.
“I don’t think this was a targeted situation, it’s an isolated situation where it was just a random crime. I don’t think there are people out there targeting students,” Lee said.
The incident occurred off campus, within SJPD’s jurisdiction. Lee said SJPD asked UPD for assistance.
“We [UPD] went up to the dorm room got a hold of the victim, brought him down to talk to SJPD. We helped SJPD canvas and look for the suspect since the suspect was said to not have a car. The victim also did not speak English very well so we helped translate for him.” Lee said.
The victim told SJPD he would like to remain anonymous.
UPD has increased patrol on campus since the incident and urges students who feel unsafe to utilize the free services available.
The Safety Escort Program operates everyday, 24 hours a day, including weekends. An escort will walk students to different areas on campus if they feel unsafe.
UPD also offers a shuttle service that drives students to off-campus destinations. The service runs Monday through Friday, from 7 p.m. until 1 a.m.
These services can be contacted by using the bluelight phones on campus or by calling (408-924-2222).
UPD’s Rape Aggression Defense training (RAD), takes place once a month over the course of two days. Students who are interested can contact UPD to set up a training session. Lee believes this is especially effective in teaching self-defense.
“Years ago, a female student was almost robbed. She told me afterward that she took the RAD training and remembered how to defend herself and the perpetrator ran away without getting her belongings. We eventually found and arrested the perpetrator,” Lee said.
Lee suggested students who are in immediate danger and unable to speak, use the blue UPD light phones that are located on various parts of campus. UPD will dispatch someone immediately to the location.
Lee also recommended that students pay attention to their surroundings as they walk, going about their day.
“A lot of people like to wear their earbuds and listen to music. When you have those on, you can’t hear people who are approaching you,” Lee said. “We have asked people we have arrested who stole, ‘why did you target that person?’ and it’s because they were not paying attention,” Lee added.
Students who wish to receive text and email alerts from UPD may sign up for AlertSJSU on UPD’s website (http://www.sjsu.edu/police/) and click on the "Safety Alerts” tab.
Students can also view SJSU Alerts here: http://www.sjsu.edu/police/crime_reporting/safety_alerts/index.html
Anyone who has more information regarding the case, or one similar to it can contact SJPD detective Gerardo Silva at 408-277-4166, according to the Mercury News.
Those who would like to remain anonymous, can contact Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-STOP (7867) or svcrimestoppers.org. Anonymous tipsters may be eligible for a cash reward.