Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Minneapolis crime hits Univ. Of Minnesota

No haven is safe from the Minneapolis Quagmire.

When we think of a college campus we think of a generally safe environment afflicted at most by property crime, drunken behavior, and other vagaries of student life. We typically don't think of violent crime.

While campuses are not immune from violence, and the University of Minnesota is no exception, there appears to have been an upswing over the past several months or so. The University of Minnesota Police Department web site has past notices of violence, including armed robberies, the same crime which has plagued Minneapolis as a whole (For those of you from out of the area, the University of Minnesota main campus is located in Minneapolis, just east of downtown).

Violent crime does not care about borders.

Recent incidents on or near campus raise the level of concern. The first is an armed robbery on February 4th, 2006: "Armed robbery reported Saturday".

In the 1100 block of 14th Avenue Southeast, two suspects approached two people who were sitting in a vehicle parked on the street, said Carol Oosterhuis, the crime prevention specialist for the 2nd Precinct of the Minneapolis Police Department.

One of the suspects pulled out a handgun and demanded "valuables" such as their cell phones, Oosterhuis said.

The combined value stolen was $230.

According to the police report, the suspects fled on foot.
The use of a gun is obviously a major concern. It's unclear what time this occurred. The UoM Police website is not updated to this incident. You may recall prior posts concerning armed robberies near the University of Minnesota. Here's the previous crime alert. You can see it includes multiple updates on armed robberies.

Another incident occurred last Saturday, involving an assault on a woman near the East Bank campus. This story is via WCCO News website: "Woman Assaulted Near 'U's' East Bank":

(WCCO) Minneapolis A woman was assaulted near the University of Minnesota's East Bank campus early Saturday morning, according to a crime alert [Ed. - the UofM Police web site is not yet updated] issued by the university.

Officials said a female was walking just south of the intersection of Oak Street SE and Washington Avenue SE about 3 a.m. Saturday when a male walked out of an alley area and physically assaulted her.

According to reports, the male then exposed himself and asked the woman a sexually explicit question. The woman reportedly struck the suspect in the face and ran away for help.
It appears her quick thinking saved her from a potentially more serious fate.

The suspect was described as a light-skinned or mixed race male in his early 30s. He was estimated to be about 6-feet-tall with a medium build and no facial hair. He was last seen wearing a black Nautica brand jacket, green t-shirt and blue jeans.

Police are asking anyone with information about the case to call the University of Minnesota Police at 612-624-2677.
We await Mayor Rybak's press conference on the disproportionate amount of armed robberies in the city, the general level of safety, and his plan for what he's going to do about it.