Two held up in Marcy-Holmes armed robbery

Police arrested four men fleeing the scene after the robbery.

by Nicholas Studenski

More robberies hit the University of Minnesota area this weekend.

A Marcy-Holmes resident and his friend were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning, according to a Minneapolis police report. Police caught and arrested the suspects shortly after the incident.

Haley Nelson, 22, said she was sitting with a friend outside his house on Eighth Street Southeast at about 3 a.m. Sunday, waiting for their friends to get back. Nelson said when they saw a man approaching the house, her friend told her to get behind him.

“[He] looked kind of sketchy,” Nelson said.

The man asked them for a cigarette, Nelson said, and her friend said they didn’t have one. The man then pulled out a gun, Nelson said, and demanded her friend hand over “everything he had.”

Nelson said her friend gave up his cellphone, but she refused to hand over hers when the man pointed the gun at her.

“I back sassed him a little bit,” she said.

By then, Nelson’s friends had arrived and called police, she said, and the man fled to a waiting white SUV.

On their way to the scene, officers saw an SUV that matched the vehicle description speeding in the opposite direction, Minneapolis police Intellectual Properties Initiative Manager John Elder said.

University Deputy Police Chief Chuck Miner said officers stopped the car near Mariucci Arena and found a semiautomatic weapon inside. Nelson and her friend identified one of the suspects, who admitted to the robbery.

Police arrested the four men in the car for robbery and carrying a weapon without a permit and booked them in Hennepin County Jail, the report said.

Though Nelson isn’t a student, she said she spends a lot of time on campus, and the robbery has changed the way she feels about spending time in the area.

“I feel very unsafe now,” she said. “I don’t plan on going down there for a long time, if not ever.”

Burglary at Coffman

University police responded to silent alarms triggered in a computer lab at Coffman  Union at about 2 a.m. Saturday, according to a University police report.

Miner said a University police officer noticed a blue Saturn car leaving the building as he arrived on the scene. In the lab, the officer noticed the door had been tampered with and an empty backpack was left in the room.

“It appeared somebody had forcibly opened the door, causing the top latch to break,” Miner said, though nothing was missing from Coffman.

The Public Safety Emergency Communication Center monitored the security footage and saw two “suspicious” men in the building, Miner said.

University police later saw the same vehicle in the Dinkytown Subway parking lot with a pair of bolt cutters partially hidden in the back of the car, Miner said. Officers also found a laptop, which the report said was stolen from Stella’s Fish Cafe in Uptown.

The three men in the car matched the description of the men in the security footage, Miner said. One of the men had a warrant out for his arrest, the report said, and all three men were arrested for burglary and booked at the Hennepin County Jail.