Campus armed robbery result of Craigslist dealing
University Police apprehended an armed man after he and an accomplice robbed a UALR student on campus Sept. 12, according to police reports.
After arranging a meeting to sell a computer he had previously listed on Craigslist, the student was robbed near the site of UALR’s new Trojan Grill about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday.
“It was just a Craigslist deal gone bad,” said one witness, who is also a resident on campus.
The witness was one of four students that accompanied the victim during the attempted sale of his $1,300 Apple Macbook Pro computer. The victim said the laptop was awarded to him by the university through the Donaghey Scholars program.
According to the victim, the two suspects had initially set up the sale through a series of text messages that seemed suspicious.
“He was just really sketchy,” the victim said. “I said, ‘Let’s meet at the Trojan Grill’ and he wanted to meet me across the street instead.”
The suspects met with the victim at 4:05 p.m. and claimed to be present on behalf of the buyer, who was said to be on his way. A period of small talk led to both suspects claiming to be UALR students, with one going into detail about a nursing major as well as specific courses. Shortly after, the unarmed suspect ran behind two witnesses and grabbed the victim’s Macbook from a nearby table.
The victim said another student accompanying him tackled the unarmed suspect, who proceeded to toss the laptop to his armed accomplice. After being pushed into the bushes next to the grill, he said that the armed suspect drew his firearm and pointed at the victim as well as another witness.
After the group of students chased the armed suspect into a neighborhood located on West 30th Street, officers from UALR’s Department of Public Safety then apprehended the armed suspect, who was said to be hiding in foliage located between two residences.
“I was following them and I thought they would have a getaway car behind East Hall,” the victim said. “But they just kept running and did not get very far.”
The police recovered the stolen laptop as well as the weapon which, according to the victim, had the serial number filed off its small body.
The arrested suspect was positively identified as 18-year-old James Hinton shortly following his capture. The other man was last seen running in a different direction than his accomplice. While he was also identified through a series of photographs, he has yet to be taken into custody for his involvement.
Witnesses of the crime describe the suspect as a heavyset black man, standing around 6-feet tall, wearing a black shirt with cut-off sleeves and having tattoo of the letter “A” on his left arm.
Those who see an individual matching this description are encouraged to contact Detective Tonya Soule at 501-569-8793, or call the University Police dispatch office at 501-569-3400.