‘Peeping Tom’ caught in Kolthoff women’s rest room

University police were alerted after a female student caught the man in the act.

Elizabeth Cook

As the weather warms, crime around the University starts increasing, bringing with it some unusual crimes and ones that happen more frequently.

A “peeping Tom” lurked March 28 in a Kolthoff Hall women’s rest room.

Kablia Thao, an English sophomore, said she went into the bathroom on the first floor about 5:30 p.m. to apply some lip gloss.

When she first went in the bathroom, Thao said she saw someone quickly move inside one of the stalls, but assumed it was someone changing clothes.

Thao said she was looking in the mirror when she saw a man peer over a partition to see a woman in the next stall.

“It’s kind of like seeing a pink elephant,” Thao said. “I was taken so off guard.”

When the man realized Thao saw what he was doing, he walked out of the bathroom.

Thao waited for the woman to get out of the stall to tell her what happened.

Then, as Thao was describing to some friends in the hallway what had just happened, the man walked by the group.

One of Thao’s friends followed him as she called University police.

Steve Johnson, deputy police chief for the University, said these kinds of incidents don’t happen often, but they do occasionally.

“This guy could have passed for a student,” Thao said.

It was his receding hairline that made him look older, she said.

My pregnant wife

Police on Saturday arrested a suspect for theft by swindle that happened March 28.

Scott LaRoque, an English sophomore, said he was walking on Harvard Street Southeast when a man approached him saying his car just broke down with his pregnant wife inside and he needed $60 for a tow.

It sounded suspicious, LaRoque said, but the man pointed over to “his” car with a woman in it and also said he already had talked with a parking attendant who knew the situation.

So LaRoque went over to ask the attendant. She said she didn’t know the man, who kept trying to talk over her insisting he had spoken with someone else.

In the end, LaRoque ended up giving him $40.

An hour later, LaRoque said, he realized he probably was not going to get his money back and called police.

LaRoque told his friends about the incident afterward, and Saturday one of his friends was on Walnut Street Southeast in front of Centennial Hall when she heard a man asking people for money and giving the same story about his car being broken down.

She immediately called LaRoque, who came down and positively identified him and called police.

According to the report, the man was transported to Hennepin County Jail on a charge of theft by swindle.

Johnson said this suspect has done this type of thing in the past and has had about 150 contacts, though not arrests, with police.

Busting up the Cupcake

Police responded to a call of a possible burglary in progress at Cupcake, a bakery on University Avenue Southeast, about 3:45 a.m. Sunday.

Kevin VanDeraa, owner of the shop, said this is the 10th time Cupcake has been broken into in less than two years.

A resident who lives above Cupcake called police upon hearing breaking glass, Johnson said.

Minneapolis and University police arrived to discover a glass patio door broken with a brick and another door open, Johnson said.

The canine unit searched the building and cleared it.

VanDeraa arrived and said nothing was taken or damaged other than the $550 glass door.