Thieves often strike at house parties

U students had valuables stolen during a party Saturday.

Branden Largent

 

Edward Davis never expected to be burglarized in a house full of people. But early Saturday morning, he and his roommates became victims of a common but unexpected crime.

Thefts during parties are a common problem in the neighborhoods surrounding the University of Minnesota, police say.

According to Nick Juarez, the crime prevention specialist for the 2nd Precinct, police often deal with reports of wallets, keys or other valuables being stolen at parties. He said thieves will also scope out valuables in rooms during parties either to come back the next day or to steal them later in the night as people become less attentive.

“You always have to be aware of your surroundings and your property and your home,” Juarez said.

Davis said almost a dozen people –– his roommates and friends –– were over at his Marcy-Holmes house that night hanging out. But none of them noticed two unfamiliar men enter.

Davis said everyone was on the ground level of the house when his roommate noticed the men running down the stairs with their valuables. They chased the men, who ran in the direction of Van Cleve Park, but couldn’t catch them.

The men stole a pair of expensive headphones and some clothing from Davis’ room on the third floor of the house. They also broke down his roommate’s door and stole a laptop and other valuables, Davis said.

“Obviously, we were really pissed off, but we didn’t think that anybody would come into a house with people in there,” Davis said.

Nobody on the first floor heard the two men kicking in the door, which shattered the door frame, because the music was playing loudly, Davis said.

“It’s completely busted,” he said.

According to Minneapolis police Sgt. Steve McCarty, the doors to Davis’ house were left open because they were expecting company.

Juarez said students hosting parties should designate one sober person to handle any potential incidents when they arise and monitor everyone who enters the house.

“With any large group of people that you have, it’s good to know who you are inviting to your house,” Juarez said.

He said to keep all valuables in one secure room in the house before the party and to lock it until the next day. Students should keep their cellphones and other smaller valuables on them at all times, instead of in an unsecured coatroom.

Juarez also said it’s important to have the best possible description of the thief.

“There’s not a whole lot we can do without a physical description of who we need to be looking for,” he said.

Davis said his roommate could not give a reliable description of the men leaving the house because he only got a glimpse as they ran away.

With no description of the suspects, further investigation of the incident is pending additional information or leads.

Davis said he and his roommates have been a lot more alert since the thefts.

“Every time someone opens up our door, we’re always cautious.”