Armed thieves rob two on West Bank

The rash of robberies has police checking into a relation among the crimes.

by Elizabeth Cook

Two students were robbed at knifepoint Oct. 13 on the West Bank.

The students were walking at 1:30 a.m. on Fourth Street South near Middlebrook Hall toward West River Parkway when three assailants ran up the hill toward them, said Steve Johnson, deputy chief for the University Police Department.

The thieves stopped abruptly in front of the students and asked for money, Johnson said.

When the students said they didn’t have any, one of the suspects pulled a pocketknife and took a digital camera, Johnson said.

The three then fled on foot.

University police sent a safety alert to the University community.

The alert describes the suspects as three males between the ages of 18 and 25.

Recently, there have been a string of robberies in the 2nd Precinct, Johnson said.

University police and officers in the precinct are looking at all the information from these robberies to see if they are connected, Johnson said.

One trend, so far, is that all of the robberies have been at night, Johnson said.

Causing a scene

A man was arrested Friday afternoon after harassing a person outside Stub & Herbs.

Jon Landers, manager of Stub & Herbs, said one of his customers had gone outside to smoke a cigarette and got harassed for money.

Lander then went outside and asked the man to leave the area and was pointing the man away, when the man slapped Landers’ two fingers away.

An officer drove by in an unmarked vehicle and saw the suspect slap the manager’s hand.

The suspect gave three false names after police asked for his name, according to a police report.

When police searched his pockets, they found a Hennepin County citation for theft written out to a name other than the ones the suspect had given police, Johnson said.

When the suspect was being questioned by police, other people from across the street approached and said the same man had been harassing them earlier while they were eating at the tables outside Chipotle.

One of the students, electrical engineering junior Vance Fredrickson, said the man came up to him and his friend and placed a card on the table that said he was deaf and needed $5.

When they didn’t give him money, he cursed at them and then asked people at the next table, Fredrickson said.

The man was booked at Hennepin County jail for disorderly conduct and providing false information.

Slugger gone

The pitching coach for the University baseball team reported on Oct. 11 that the team’s foam pitching dummy was stolen from Siebert Field.

It must have been premeditated, because the dummy isn’t visible from the street, said Todd Oakes, the pitching coach.

Oakes said one of the players saw a couple of people around 11 p.m. Oct. 7 riding bikes with the dummy under their arms.

“If people see something unusual like this going on, they should call it in to police,” Johnson said.

The dummy is valued at $200, and the team got it just a couple of months ago, Oakes said.

Oakes said he’s sure it was a couple of young people who stole it as a prank, and it’s probably sitting in their home.

There are also jokes among the players about how “Slugger” has been stolen.

“(We) would like it back though,” Oakes said, “players do use it.”