Campus muggings trend upward at semester’s start

With three similar robberies reported around campus since Sept. 2, University police will increase patrols over the weekend.

Tyler Gieseke

Three robberies have occurred near the University of Minnesota campus since Sept. 2, in a trend that University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner says is typical of this time of the year.

With school starting and the weather still warm, “more people are out and about, bad people and good people,” he said.

The first two robberies occurred early Sunday morning, one near the Marcy Holmes neighborhood at around 1:15 a.m., and the other near the Superblock half an hour later, according to Miner. 

University police reported another robbery early Thursday morning in Dinkytown.

The four victims — all University of Minnesota students — lost two iPhones, a purse and money during the attacks, in which they were physically assaulted.  

Descriptions of the suspects in each incident are similar, Miner said.

“It’s possible that it’s the same group of individuals, but we’ve not been able to determine that at this point,” he said.  

According to Miner, University police will increase patrols in areas where the robberies occurred, and coordinate their efforts with the Minneapolis police.

Avoid distraction

Miner said certain behaviors can increase the risk of students becoming victims of this type of crime.

Students should travel in groups whenever possible. If not, Miner said, students are encouraged to use the free escort service.

Risk level is also increased when students are intoxicated, and therefore unaware of their surroundings, Miner said, adding that distraction is the biggest risk factor for students.

If students are text messaging or talking on smart phones, “that’s kind of a big bulls eye over their heads that they make a good target,” Miner said.