Wave of thefts hits University campus

Jim Martyka

Thieves kept University Police busy last week as more than 20 people reported items stolen.
Most of the stealing occurred when students left jackets or other valuable goods unattended for short periods of time.
One second-year medical school student had her black leather purse and billfold stolen from the third floor of the Diehl Hall library.
The student said she thought the purse would be safe if she set her bag down with her coat on top of it. She also said she was never more than a few feet away from the bag, but it was stolen anyway.
“It was almost scary how close I was to my bag,” she said. “It was a pretty blatant steal.”
Because she was in the library around lunchtime, she said she thought it would be safe.
“It was so busy in there, I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “Somebody must have watched me put my stuff down.”
Over the weekend, someone found the student’s purse in a recycling bin on campus and returned everything to her except the cash, which was missing when the bag was found.

Although theft was the most prevalent misdeed of the week, police responded to several other incidents.

ù Five men started a fight after a party on Jan. 19 that cost a University student three chipped teeth and a six-stitch cut under his eye.
The student, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was walking from a party in Dinkytown with a group of friends when a car pulled up and almost hit a woman in the group.
The student yelled at the driver to drive more carefully. “The next thing I knew, five guys got out of the car and started talking trash,” the student said.
He said that after yelling back and forth with one of the five men, the man attacked him, punching him three or four times. The men quickly left, and the student’s friends called University Police.
Officers took the student to be treated at the Fairview-University Medical Center.
The student said the incident and the assault were unwarranted.
“They were just looking for a fight,” he said. “And I didn’t give him a very good one.”
University Police are still investigating the matter.

ù University Police apprehended an man last Friday evening entering and exiting men’s restrooms in Blegen Hall.
According to police reports, the man entered restrooms on all four floors of the building, spending no more than a few seconds inside each.
According to the police report, the man told the police that he liked to walk around, then claimed to have a runny nose when asked why he liked to walk around in restrooms.
The suspect had no identification and was given a trespass warning.

ù Minneapolis Police offered some good news for residents of the city when it released 1996 year-end statistics.
Violent crimes against people are down 3 percent and robbery is down 9 percent from 1995 totals. Murders were also down 14 percent from 97 in 1995 to 83 last year.
In a recent press release, Minneapolis Police Chief Robert K. Olson said, “We have implemented several programs this past year which are producing positive results.”
University Police have not released year-end statistics.