While the recent rash of burglaries of University area businesses and churches seems to have quieted, burglars hit four homes and apartment buildings near the University since Feb. 9, according to police reports.
A record 38 burglaries beleaguered the University community from early December until the end of January. Minneapolis Police Lt. Carol Serafin said those burglaries have tapered off since the end of January after an extra set of police officers were assigned to nightly patrols around campus.
Robert Patrick Sr., a Minneapolis police officer who works the southeast beat, said the burglar who has recently targeted the residential areas is probably a teenager, and not connected with the previous burglaries around the University.
“The burglar seems youthful,” Patrick said. “This is not the work of a good, knowledgeable burglar.”
In most cases, the burglar gains entrance to the home through an unlocked door or window, Patrick said.
Despite Patrick’s allegations of the burglar’s rookie status, victims said the week’s events have left them unsettled.
“It has been a really bad week,” said Scott Vander Heiden, a mechanical engineering sophomore whose home was burglarized Feb. 9. “First our heater didn’t work, then our basement was flooded and now this.”
He shares the home on the 700 block of 15th Avenue Southeast with five other University students.
Vander Heiden said a burglar made off with a $300 television set, a Nintendo 64, a graphing calculator, a backpack and a jacket. He said the thief walked through an unlocked front door sometime in the early morning hours of Feb. 9.
“That was the first time we forgot to lock our door,” Vander Heiden said.
Later in the evening on Feb. 9 at a different address, Elizabeth Thompson noticed her bedroom light on when she returned home from work. Thompson, a senior in American Indian studies, lives in an apartment building on the 700 block of University Avenue Southeast.
“Over $2,000 worth of stuff was stolen,” Thompson said. She said 25 CDs, a laptop computer, a printer and a necklace were missing.
She said the burglar crawled into her bedroom through an unlocked window sometime between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Police have made no arrests in the burglaries.
In other police news:
ù An unidentified woman intimidated and threatened a 69-year-old parking attendant Feb. 9 in the Huron parking lot, according to police reports.
Corrine Pinc, a University employee since 1975, said the woman approached her booth and yelled at her from a very close distance about the parking situation in the lot.
According to police reports, the suspect charged Pinc after she made comments about the parking conditions. When Pinc tried to return to the parking booth, the woman put her foot in the door jam so she could not shut the door.
University Police Officer Richard Lamkin said the incident is under investigation, but no arrests have been made.
A parking shortage around the University has prompted complaints from many campus-goers, but Lamkin said this is the first time to his knowledge that a driver has become very hostile with an attendant.
“The woman was very intimidating and I thought she was going to hit me,” Pinc said, who noted she is only 5 feet tall and 112 pounds.
Pinc said the woman called her several unflattering names. She intends to press charges against the woman, whom reports and police have yet to identify.
ù University Police arrested a 38-year-old man Thursday after the man jumped out in the middle of traffic near the 300 block of Cedar Avenue.
Police booked Tesfai Dirar at Hennepin County Jail for obstructing the legal process, according to police reports. Dirar, who is not affiliated with the University, was not in police custody Tuesday.
“The man was walking down the middle of Cedar and a lot of cars had to slam on their brakes,” said University Police Officer Mark Pearson.
Pearson said Dirar started fighting and swinging his arms when he tried to handcuff him.