Driver denies hitting students

Also, University employee closes bank account after unusual withdrawals.

Elizabeth Cook

A car struck two students Sunday afternoon while they were crossing Fourth Street Southeast.

Luann Dorn, who witnessed the incident, said the driver was traveling at about 30 mph when she ran a red light and hit the students.

“One kid flew up in the air,” Dorn said.

After the two were hit, one of the victims flagged down police, University Police Chief Greg Hestness said.

Police located the driver at the corner of 25th Avenue Southeast and University Avenue Southeast, according to the report.

The driver said she didn’t hit anyone, said Steve Johnson, deputy chief for the University Police Department.

But her passenger said she did indeed hit two men, Johnson said.

Dorn said, “She looked like she was drunk.”

When police gave the driver a preliminary breath test, it showed that she had a 0.243 percent blood alcohol concentration level, Johnson said.

One student’s knee was swelling, Johnson said. Both students were examined by Hennepin County Medical Center technicians, but they refused further medical attention.

The driver of the car was charged with third-degree driving while intoxicated.

Phishing and forgery

A University employee notified police Friday that he was a victim of identity theft.

The victim said he responded to an e-mail Oct. 20 that appeared to be from his bank, Affinity Bank. He provided account and personal information, according to the report.

On Friday, the victim realized that an unknown person was making cash withdrawals from his checking account.

There were nine withdrawals in the amount of $99.62 and two withdrawals in the amount of $49.81, according to the report.

The victim stated that after he realized his money was being taken, he contacted his bank to have his account closed.

In another incident Friday, the TCF Bank manager at the 615 Washington Ave. S.E. branch called police about a forgery in progress.

Officers arrived and arrested two suspects who were trying to cash separate checks from the same person, according to the report.

The victim, Erin Reil, 25, noticed while working in St. Paul that her checks were missing.

The checks were stolen sometime between 8 a.m. and noon, while she was at work, Reil said.

Reil said she wasn’t sure whether the checks had dropped out of her purse or if they’d been taken from her workplace.

She immediately called her bank when she realized the checks were missing, Reil said, which is how the suspects were caught.

Jason Korstange, director of corporate communications for TCF Bank, said that when a person’s checks are stolen, and the victim calls to put a stop on their checks, a notice will come up throughout the entire TCF Bank system that says all checks from the account are closed.

If a person’s checks are stolen, they “should call right away,” Korstange said.

“If (thieves are) doing it to steal, they will use them very quickly,” Korstange said. They are trying to use them before the stop payment notice comes up.

“There’s hundreds of these scams out there,” Johnson said.

Johnson advised that if a bank is asking for personal information through an e-mail, don’t give it.

Instead, call the bank and ask what they need and why.

The two suspects were booked at Hennepin County Jail on forgery charges.