Trespassers frequent U during break

Jim Martyka

University Police enjoyed something of a break after classes let out in December.
“It’s been very, very quiet,” said Detective Larry Anderson regarding campus crime over the past month.
University Police officials said they did, however, encounter some of the same problems they usually have this time of year.
University Police Sgt. Joe May said that police dealt with several trespassing incidents.
“Actually, I’m surprised that we haven’t seen these people sooner,” said May. “Normally, the same people come back in November each year.”
University Police issued five citations for trespassing over winter break. May said several of these people come back because of the size of the University. “It’s a very big place with a lot of places to hide,” he said.
May said that trespassing problems have declined recently, which he attributes in part to a trespass warning system in use by University Police.
When police see someone being disruptive, they issue a trespass warning that officially bans the suspect from that building or the campus in general. If the person is found trespassing again, the police can then issue a citation or make an arrest. May said University Police have had about 97 percent compliance with the warning system. “I don’t know why the others return,” May said. “I think they don’t quite understand that this will affect them.”

ù University Police also dealt with drunk drivers over the break.
There were six arrests for driving while intoxicated, two of them on New Year’s Eve.
But University Police said this year’s arrest total is lower than past holiday seasons.

In other police news:

ù University Police responded to a 911 call Saturday in Dinkytown. Minneapolis radio dispatchers reported that they could hear a woman screaming in the background.
When police arrived at the house, a male University employee said that he and his wife had had an argument. The officer searched the house and found the woman crying in a closet, clutching the right side of her face, which the officer described as red and swollen.
The officer arrested the man and booked him at Hennepin County Jail for fifth degree domestic assault.
No charges have been filed.

ù Tellers at the TCF Bank on Washington Avenue were surprised on New Year’s Eve when an unidentified suspect tried to cash what may have been a stolen check.
When the suspect approached the counter and tried endorsing the check, her hands were shaking and she appeared nervous. She produced two forms of identification: a yellow Minnesota Driver’s License receipt without a red stamp and a photographic identification card.
A TCF teller went to call police from the back room while another employee stalled the woman.
According to police reports, the woman said, “Can you tell the other cashier to hurry up and get me my money, cause I’m in a hurry.”
The suspect then said she needed to use the restroom, left the bank, ran to the Radisson Hotel across the street and never returned.
Police are investigating.

ù University Police arrested two people for drug possession on Friday on the East Bank.
According to police reports, an officer approached a suspicious-looking car and found a crack pipe along with a small amount of crack cocaine and an open bottle of alcohol.
The officer then confiscated the drugs and arrested the two suspects, who are not University students.

ù According to University Police reports, there was also a rash of computer thefts over the break.
Police reported five thefts across campus.
Police said computer theft has plagued the University before.
Detective Anderson said the number of thefts over break were higher than expected for that time period, however.
Police have no suspects in any of the computer thefts.