More burglaries reported on East Bank campus at three buildings

Offices in Akerman and Lind halls and Mechanical Engineering were the latest targets.

by Kyle Sando

University of Minnesota police reported a string of burglaries at Akerman Hall, Lind Hall and the Mechanical Engineering building early Sunday morning.

Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said the crimes may be related to the thefts at Pillsbury Hall earlier this month. He said several items were missing from the offices inside the three buildings.

Fewer items were stolen this time than from Pillsbury in early September. The suspects took a laptop, a camera and a backpack with several textbooks inside, Miner said. Police have not estimated the total value of the items, but Miner said the burglary was most likely a felony-level offense.

In order to be considered a felony in the state of Minnesota, the items stolen must total more than $1,000 in value.

âÄúThey smashed the glass out of the doors. They went through and ransacked my office.âÄù said Donna Rosenthal, senior administrative director for the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics housed in Akerman Hall.

Rosenthal said that everything was âÄústrewn aboutâÄù in her office âÄî it took her a long time to clean up, interrupting her work routine, she said.

Perry Leo, departmental director for the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, said the burglars broke into his office as well, but nothing of high value was taken.

Leo said the thieves took a 15-year-old laptop and a bunch of loose change from a drawer, but didnâÄôt touch his main computer and left all of his books on the shelves.

Leo said he was surprised by his office being targeted, but wasnâÄôt surprised by the crime.

âÄúItâÄôs a campus, right? I mean public buildings âÄî stuff happens,âÄù he said.

University police are working to catch the people behind the burglaries while officers and a plain-clothes unit are patrolling campus. Investigators are following up on two possible suspects, Miner said.

Two men stopped for suspicious behavior; two laptops were recovered by police

Minneapolis police stopped two men after they âÄúsuspiciously discardedâÄù a backpack Monday night in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.

Miner said police discovered two University laptops inside, but they were not registered as stolen and the two men were let go at the scene.

âÄúI got the call that they had recovered it about two hours after we had discovered it was missing,âÄù said University student Adem Rudin, the owner of one of the laptops.

Rudin left the laptop on a lab workbench overnight on the St. Paul campus when someone walked in and took it. A security camera captured the theft and the video was sent to University police for review, he said.

Miner said the two men could have either stolen the laptops themselves or gotten them from someone else.

Police are currently tracking down where the other laptop came from, and if enough evidence is collected the two men will be charged.