Police identify suspect in Sproul Plaza robberies

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Police have identified a suspect in two Sproul Plaza robberies in which victims reported withdrawing money from an on-campus ATM.

Police say a white male  asked students to purchase magazine subscriptions on Sproul Plaza on Sept. 10.  In two separate incidents, after the students declined, the suspect allegedly threatened them and walked the victims to the ATM in Golden Bear Cafe, where each withdrew money for the suspect, according to a UCPD crime alert updated Monday.

In the alert, police identified the suspect in both incidents as Kody Smith, a 24-year-old, 5-foot-11 white male with a thin build, blue eyes and short hair.

There has not been an identification of the suspect’s two companions at this time, according to the alert.

In the first report, a 20-year-old female student was approached on Lower Sproul Plaza at around 2:55 p.m. when a male asked her to buy a magazine subscription. When the victim declined, the male and two accomplices threatened her, and the male walked her to an ATM in Golden Bear Cafe, where she withdrew $400 in cash, said UCPD Capt. Margo Bennett.

Later on Sept. 20, a second robbery occurred when at around 4:50 p.m. a 21-year-old female student was approached by a man who also identified himself as Kody and was selling magazine subscriptions.

The man allegedly attempted to verbally pressure the victim into buying subscriptions. The victim declined but, due to hand gestures made by the man, feared that she would be physically harmed if she tried to walk away without giving the man money, the Sept. 19 alert said.

After the first incident was reported by UCPD on Sept. 14, more students came forward with allegations that they had been approached by a male selling magazine subscriptions on Sproul, dating as far back as last spring.

Bennett said on Sept. 18 that UCPD keeps an officer on Sproul to patrol the plaza during daytime hours.

Chloe Hunt covers crime. Contact her at [email protected].