Key thieves thwarted, but flee scene

Jim Martyka

Two men tried to rob a University student of her keys Wednesday while she walked along East River Road.
According to a police report, the student was walking when strangers approached her and started talking to her. One man then tried to grab the keys she was carrying.
She held on to the keys and struggled with the men while yelling for help. The suspects ran away without the keys before the police arrived.
The student said she hasn’t seen the two men before. University Police are investigating.

In other police news:
ù Armory Building employees helped a motorist extinguish a car fire Wednesday.
According to an employee of Minneapolis Fire Department Station 19, a woman was driving her car toward the armory garage when an electrical fire started in the engine compartment. The woman quickly backed the car away from the building and jumped out. “While the fire was contained under the hood, it was smart to back it from the building,” he said.
The woman and workers at the building put out the blaze with fire extinguishers before the fire department arrived. The exact cause of the fire is under investigation.

ù University Police reports showed a high number of drinking and driving incidents during the weekend. But police said the six reported incidents aren’t surprising considering the warm weather and the number of parties held near campus during the weekend.
In one incident, police pulled over a University student after they noticed her truck swerving. They also saw six people riding in the bed of her pickup truck.
Police determined the woman had been drinking. She was booked at Hennepin County Jail for drunk-driving.

ù A forklift was stolen from a construction site Sunday near the Mayo Complex and parked in front of a University Avenue fraternity house for the second time in six months.
University officers saw three people Sunday running from the parked forklift. The suspects reportedly ran into a different fraternity house, Delta Tau Delta, also on University Avenue. When police tried to search for the suspects at Delta Tau Delta, members refused to let the officers in the house, according to a police report.
A similar incident occurred in January. Police said the thefts are probably fraternity pranks.

ù An employee at Akerman Hall saw a suspicious man lurking in the building Friday.
According to a police report, the employee watched the man enter the building and try to open a locked door that leads to some offices.
He then went to a conference room where the employee saw him try to take a VCR. He confronted the man and asked what he was doing.
The man replied, “Hey, isn’t this a public building?” He then ran from the building without the VCR. University Police are investigating.

ù University Police arrested a man Sunday for trespassing in Smith Hall.
According to a University Police report, Aaron Howard Egan, who is not a University student, was seen sneaking into an office in the building.
When an employee asked what he was doing, Egan ran. A University officer arrested him outside nearby Burton Hall.
Police said arresting someone for trespassing is uncommon. Normally trespassers are given a written warning. But the warning states that offenders are not allowed near the place where they were trespassing. If they are seen near the area again, they can be arrested.
Egan had been issued a formal warning for trespassing in January. University Police Sgt. Joe May said police gave Egan a written warning when they determined he may have harassed or threatened people on campus. Police said he was not allowed on campus.
“He violated the law, so he was brought in,” May said.
Egan was booked at Hennepin County Jail. No property was reported missing.

ù A University Police officer responded to two 911 hang-up calls from a West Bank campus safety phone.
The officer apprehended the caller, who was a juvenile. The officer then discovered there was a warrant out on the boy for running away from St. Joseph’s Home For Children.
The officer warned the juvenile about the prank calls and returned him to the home.

ù Residents at Centennial Hall experienced a flood in their lobby Tuesday night.
The water came from a first-floor men’s room and quickly soaked carpets in front of the residence hall’s lobby.
Resident Assistant Ken Metzger said he walked into the bathroom and noticed a faucet spouting water. He said somebody had ripped off the top of the faucet after turning on the water, which caused the open valve to shoot water into the room.
“Water was pouring everywhere,” he said. “The bathroom and part of the lobby were literally filled with water.”
Metzger called a repair person to shut off the water and started to clean up the water.
“There wasn’t any permanent damage and it didn’t take real long to clean, but it was quite a mess,” he said.
Metzger said the incident was probably a prank and that there are no suspects in the flooding.