Recent campus crimes include theft, forgery

University police stopped two people Friday who were seen carrying open beer bottles near campus.

Britt Johnsen

Police issued citations to two males for urinating on a tree just outside the University police garage Friday.

The incident occurred at Beacon and Union streets southeast Minneapolis, where squad cars drive out of the garage.

After watching the two urinate, police stopped them, issued citations for the urination and discovered one of the men was wearing a backpack filled with beer.

The two men were also given citations for underage possession of alcohol.

University police Capt. Steve Johnson said public urination does occur, but he said it is still rare and hoped the citation will help keep it that way.

“Maybe they were fairly well inebriated,” Johnson said. “They will remember this in the future, we hope.”

Also on Friday, two people seen carrying open beer bottles at the intersection of 10th Avenue Southeast and Fourth Street Southeast were stopped by police.

The female, after admitting to being 19 years old, took and failed a breathalyzer test three times, but said she was impressed with the results.

“Whoo,” the female said, according to the police report after blowing a 0.135. “On my last minor I was only like a 0.04; I did better this time.”

Elsewhere on campus, University police are investigating a check forgery that occurred at Coffman Union’s bookstore Sept. 11.

The individual, who forged a $40 check for a sweatshirt was identified and arrested for the forgery, as well as an outstanding felony warrant.

University Bookstores director Bob Crabb said he is working with police on the case but would not comment on any specifics.

“If it’s something prosecutable, we’ll pursue it,” Crabb said.

University police have also reported 13 bike thefts since Friday, which Johnson said is normal.

“Generally speaking, this time of year there’s a lot more bikes on campus and a lot more opportunity for theft,” Johnson said.

He said officers in uniform and in plain clothes patrol areas commonly known for theft.

Johnson said the police rely mostly on public reports to investigate suspicious activity, and police usually will not investigate without reports.

Johnson said many people look suspicious and police cannot tell whether someone owns the bike.

Although several stolen bikes were locked, Johnson said students should make bikes harder to steal by investing in high-quality horseshoe bike locks.

Johnson said students should also lock bikes to bike racks in commonly monitored areas.

“Thieves (most commonly) go to places (that are) not known,” Johnson said.

He said students should not take their most expensive bikes to school, since those are heavily targeted for theft.

“Thieves want the nicest bike with the easiest lock,” Johnson said.

Last week, there were also several reports of backpack and purse theft on campus, which Johnson said is common.

“Theft is 60 percent of on-campus crime,” Johnson said. “Theft is ongoing, and the way to prevent it is to be aware.”

Johnson said students should never leave items unattended and recommended carrying the least amount of valuables possible at all times.