Reports of on-campus harassment double while building thefts decrease

One report said a man threatened to post nude photos of his ex-girlfriend on the Internet.

by Koran Addo

There were four reported cases of harassment on campus this week, according to crime reports. The number is up from the last two weeks combined when four harassment cases were reported.

In one case, a University woman contacted police after her ex-boyfriend allegedly made several threats to her via telephone and e-mail.

According to the report, the man said he took nude pictures of the woman while she was sleeping and threatened to post them on the Internet.

University police Capt. Steve Johnson said while arrests can be made, the primary goal in a case such as this is to stop the harassment.

“(Police) will arrest a suspect if there is a restraining order,” he said. “But the harassment generally stops once we get involved.”

In another instance, a student said she received threatening e-mails from a male acquaintance.

The woman said she exchanged e-mails with the man to be polite after he initially approached her outside Walter Library.

The victim said she later contacted police when the man threatened her life after she refused to go to his home and drink French wine with him.

Jill Lipski, violence prevention education coordinator for the Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education, said threats such as these are scary and women should take them seriously.

Lipski said she encourages victims of harassment to call police first, but also to save threatening e-mails and phone messages, and to document each harassment incident.

Victims of harassment can also contact the center to fill out police reports and restraining orders, Lipski said.

• University police responded to 10 thefts from University buildings this week. This is approximately a 75 percent drop from the previous week.

Johnson said the decrease could be a result of police having a man in custody who is suspected of several thefts on the St. Paul campus.

• Early this week, a parking meter was stolen on the St. Paul campus. According to police reports, police believed the suspects used a large pipe cutter to detach the meter from the ground.

Because of the rarity of the offense and the frequency that the money is removed from the meters, police officials said they believe this incident is more of a prank than a serious crime.