U area sees spike of auto-related thefts, incidents

Also, a fire burned part of a Marcy-Holmes apartment complex late last month.

Aaron Job

A spike in thefts related to automobiles hit the University of Minnesota area last week, according police reports.
Burglaries and an apartment fire that destroyed a bedroom in an apartment complex behind the Elysian were also reported to police.
Motor vehicle theft
Police reports show more than a dozen area thefts and burglaries reported to the Minneapolis Police Department and the University of Minnesota Police Department over the last week. 
Two involved the theft of property from motor vehicles, including sunglasses, CDs, a graphing calculator and textbooks. 
Three hit-and-runs were also reported, resulting in damage to several doors and vehicles. 
One report alleges that a man smashed a windshield with a rock after arguing with a suspected accomplice on 15th Avenue Southeast.
In the same neighborhood, a vehicle was reported stolen between April 1 and April 2 after the owner left the keys inside for his friend to use the car, according to a police incident report. 
Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said this week last year there were only five reported incidents of theft related to motor vehicles. He attributed the recent spike to the nice weather. 
While thefts occurred in the neighborhoods surrounding the University, UMPD Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said there were no reported motor vehicle thefts on campus. 
House burglaries
Four dwellings were burglarized, and three thefts from buildings were reported over the last week. 
Among the items reportedly stolen were several TVs, a PlayStation 4 with controllers and a wallet. 
Joseph Haggen, a Miles Group employee, said several tools were also stolen from a company storage property last Tuesday. The lock was cut on a garage, according to a police report. 
A laptop was also reported stolen from Middlebrook Hall, according to another report. 
Elder said the number of thefts is similar to last year’s statistics.
Bedroom fire
A fire scorched a bedroom in a two-bedroom apartment at 708 Fifth St. SE in Marcy-Holmes, according to a police report. 
Emily Sanden, a tenant of the apartment and a University student, said she woke up to a crackling sound and found her bed on fire. 
She said her entire room and belongings were destroyed in the blaze and said she thinks the fire started from an outlet behind her bed. 
Elder said the city’s arson investigators are currently investigating the case and said the unit didn’t rule out other causes for the start of the fire.