UMPD reports little All-Star Concert crime

Also, several bikes were reported stolen around campus.

by Ethan Nelson

Aside from its performers, the Major League Baseball All-Star Concert last weekend at TCF Bank Stadium was relatively quiet.

The University of Minnesota Police Department removed nine people from the free Imagine Dragons and Atmosphere concert for disorderly conduct, and one theft was reported at the stadium, according to Deputy chief Chuck Miner.

He said the lack of criminal activity Saturday was likely due to the concert’s relatively small number of attendees.

Crowds filled more than half of the stadium’s regular capacity when 29,000 people took advantage of the concert’s free tickets — approximately 2,000 fewer than the event had offered, according to Chris Werle, associate athletics director for strategic communications.

“Given the rain during the day, we were extremely pleased with the turnout,” Werle said.

University police officers spent most of the concert patrolling the stadium and the surrounding areas, which Miner said went smoothly, despite the cases of disorderly conduct.

Congestion at the nearby Green Line light rail station complicated police efforts to direct traffic after the event, Miner said.

“This is the first time the light rail has been operational during an event like this,” he said. “So there were some issues with traffic and queuing.”

For future events, the Metro Transit Police Department will be working to ensure that the light rail stations run more smoothly, Miner said.

“Overall, it was a pretty good night for us,” he said.

Bike thefts reported

Multiple incidents of stolen bicycles and bike parts on and near campus were reported during the last week, according to police reports.

Miner said the smaller campus population in the summer lends itself to an overall wane in crime, though bike thefts generally increase in the summer months.

“People perceive that there are a lot of bikes to take around the University,” he said. “It’s sometimes a destination for bike thieves.”

Bike thefts have steadily decreased over the past several years — progress that Miner credited to the UMPD’s Bait Bike program.

As part of the program, which began in 2011 to combat an increase in bike theft, officers strategically place GPS-equipped bicycles around campus. When the bikes are moved, the GPS trackers send an alert to UMPD.

Miner said people attempt to steal bait bikes two to three times a month.

On Sunday, the program helped police arrest three men for bait bike theft and lurking with the intent to commit crime, according to a police report. The three were booked at Hennepin County Jail.

One of the men is a former student, but the other two arrestees were not affiliated with the University.

Miner said they were lurking around the Recreation and Wellness Center when the bicycle’s GPS sent UMPD an alert that it had been moved.

Though the men arrested weren’t aware of the bait bike program, Miner said, UMPD has heard from other arrested bike thieves who knew about it and took the risk anyway.