Car break-ins plague Dinkytown

by Andy Steinke

.At least 28 cars parked around Dinkytown were damaged the night of Nov. 20, according to Minneapolis and University police reports.

The thief or thieves broke one or more of the cars’ windows to get in.

At least 13 cars had items stolen or moved outside the car, but some vehicle owners reported only broken windows.

Jacenta Spandel, 23, who lives near Ninth Street Southeast and 15th Avenue Southeast, said her car was one of seven or eight cars in her parking lot that were damaged.

“They took my camera and iPod, which were hidden in my backpack,” she said, “so they had to go through the whole thing.”

She said there were several other backpacks and duffel bags spread out across the parking lot from other cars that had been broken into.

Animal science junior Jessica McMahon said there was a similar sight outside her boyfriend’s house on Rollins Avenue Southeast, near Van Cleve Park.

“One of the kids in the house heard rummaging around outside and he went to go look,” she said. “He heard someone say ‘Hey someone’s in the house’ and he tried to run after them, but they were gone.”

McMahon said she heard three or four voices outside, and backpacks were spread out in the alley when they went out.

McMahon and three other people in the building reported their damaged vehicles to Minneapolis police early Nov. 21, but she said there were seven to 10 cars in the alley that had been broken into.

Interior design senior Rachael Rodeck had her car broken into near 10th Street Southeast and 12th Avenue Southeast, but nothing was taken.

“I was leaving Wednesday morning to go to my internship, and I found my backpack on my back steps when I walked out,” she said.

Her car window was smashed and her car had been rummaged through, but the thief missed the laptop in the backseat, she said.

University Deputy Police Chief Steve Johnson said people have to be cognizant of what they leave in their car.

“Anytime during the year, but especially during the holidays, people are looking to rip stuff off from cars because people leave stuff visible,” he said.

Thieves will break cars with items visible inside first, he said.

“When people are out shopping, or they are going to go out and do something and don’t want to take a wallet or purse with them, hiding it in the car is not a good idea,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the trunk would be a better place to put things than the back seat or under the front seats.

Trial date set for Overlie and McCullough

Two University students who are charged with giving alcohol to a minor resulting in his death are scheduled to stand trial in Hennepin County District Court on May 19.

Brandon Overlie and Michael McCullough are set to appear before Judge Mark Wernick for the death of Kyle Sharbonno.

Sharbonno, a first-year student last spring, went to a party hosted by McCullough on March 31 and fell off the Oak Street parking ramp early the next morning.

Sharbonno registered a blood alcohol concentration of 0.31 percent during his autopsy.

Overlie, 21, purchased the kegs of beer for the party. McCullough was 20 at the time.

If convicted, Overlie and McCullough would face a maximum of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.