UMPD investigates link among campus and Minneapolis robberies

Four similar incidents occurred since Friday

University and Minneapolis police are investigating a possible link between two attempted robberies on campus this weekend and two robberies that occurred in Minneapolis.

The first attempted robbery on campus took place around 11:30 p.m. July 25 outside Wilson Library , and the second was July 27 at the Oak Street parking ramp.

One Minneapolis robbery and assault of a University student occurred over this past weekend at Como and 18th avenues, and the other July 29 robbery occurred on Delaware Street Southeast.

University custodian Colleen Chute said she had just finished locking doors and was heading to Wilson Library on July 25 when she was approached by two boys, one with a gun, asking for money.

“Since I didn’t have any money, they didn’t get anything,” Chute said. “I was worried about how I was going to get out of it alive.”

According to a public safety alert, the two suspects fled after one reached for Chute’s wallet and she pushed his hand away.

The second attempted robbery on campus, at the Oak Street parking ramp , occurred around 11:55 p.m. that evening, according to the alert.

Two male suspects attempted to rob parking ramp employee Brian Lilly at gunpoint, according to the police report.

Lilly hit one of the suspects over the head with a golf club, according to the report, and the two ran away.

University police Lt. Troy Buhta said University and Minneapolis police are looking at a link between the suspects for the July 29 robbery and both attempted robberies on campus.

University police Chief Greg Hestness said Minneapolis police will likely investigate a link between those three cases and the weekend assault and robbery of the University student at Como and 18th avenues.

A 16-year-old and two 15-year-olds were arrested in connection with the attempted robbery July 25 at Wilson, but were released.

“They’re not being held right now, until we can get enough to charge them,” Buhta said.

He said he didn’t know why the suspect had a gun but did not take anything.

“It’s kind of bizarre, I realize that,” he said.