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Student demonstrators in the rainy weather protesting outside of Coffman Memorial Union on Tuesday.
Photos from April 23 protests
Published April 23, 2024

Alumnus carjacked in Marcy-Holmes

Also, the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity was burglarized Friday morning.

A University of Minnesota alumnus’s car was stolen at gunpoint near the intersection of Second Street Southeast and Eighth Avenue Southeast in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood Sunday night.

After parking his car near his girlfriend’s house, Blake Pieper, who graduated in 2013, said he got out of the car to get his bag from the back seat when two men approached him.

One of the men held a gun up to Pieper and demanded his valuables. The other man took Pieper’s phone, wallet, laptop bag and car keys, according to the Minneapolis police report.

The suspects then got into Pieper’s car and drove away.

To track the suspects in incidents like this, police talk to people in the area and look at nearby security camera footage in order to gather information about the suspects, said Minneapolis police public information officer John Elder.

“We try to ascertain who in fact did it and where they might be headed,” Elder said.

Before this year, Pieper said he’s felt safe on campus, but this fall’s uptick in crime has made him more nervous.

Pieper said he wasn’t particularly worried about safety, because the walk from his car to the house is so short. He said he doesn’t think there’s much he could do in the future to be safer other than to pay more attention to his surroundings.

Pieper said he’s also considering taking personal defense classes.

“If you can’t feel safe on campus, it’s hard to do anything else,” he said.

What victims are able to do can vary depending on the circumstances of the incident, including the surroundings and number of assailants, Elder said.

“There may be people who know exactly how to deal with it physically,” he said. “There are other people that would be like, ‘Yeah, nope, don’t want to do that.’”

Fraternity house burglarized

A resident of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house reported a burglary Friday afternoon. Between the hours of 1 a.m. and 10 a.m. Friday, two laptops and a pair of headphones were stolen from a study room in the basement, according to the Minneapolis police report.

It is unknown how the burglar got into the house, but the victim told police that people were “coming and going” at the time of the burglary.

Elder said multi-tenant houses such as fraternity houses tend to be more frequent burglary targets because there are more people going in and out.

Fraternity members were unavailable for comment Monday. 

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