Property stolen, mail opened in weekend break-in

Robert Koch

University sophomore Jessica Trautschold returned Sunday to her multi-unit house at 1027 S.E. University Ave. to find her door broken open and her belongings — including her and her housemate’s mail — in disarray.
“They sat down at my desk and opened everyone’s mail,” Trautschold said. “I found my roommate’s envelopes.”
Trautschold said she thinks the intruder was looking for credit card numbers. But they lost more than mail privacy — a VCR, mountain bike and clothes, together totaling $550, were stolen, according to the police report.
The burglar smashed a back door window, then reached in and unlocked the door. The intruder then kicked open Trautschold’s main floor apartment door.
Trautschold, a kinesiology major who had been gone several days, said the break-in likely occurred Saturday. She said the intruder unplugged her answering machine, which still held messages from Friday, but not later.
Minneapolis Police Sgt. Jeff York said protection against this type of break-in means buying doors that sacrifice beauty for safety. Otherwise, homeowners and landlords should look for locks that a burglar cannot open after simply breaking a window.
“If you’re going to have a pretty door that has glass, what you need is a double deadbolt that has a key from both sides,” he said.

In other police news:
ù A robber who claimed to have a gun made off with $200 cash from the Dinkytown Parking Facility on Wednesday evening, according to Minneapolis police.
The suspect was gone by the time police arrived at the parking lot, which is located at 1320 S.E. 5th St.
Owner Terrence Hanson said the lot had never been robbed before.
Hanson was not on duty at the time. But based on a description given by the on-duty attendant, he described the suspect as a slim-built 19- to 20-year-old black male with acne and wearing blue jeans.
“He said he had (a gun),” Hanson said. “Whether he showed it to her, I don’t know.”
The attendant, a University student, could not be reached for comment.
Sgt. Bill Chaplin of the Second Precinct said holdups where a gun is “implied” usually mean the suspect has a hand in the pocket with an object that might or might not be a gun.
ù Minneapolis police responded Saturday evening to Espresso Royale Caffe at 411 S.E. 14th Ave. where they removed a man who allegedly had been harassing customers since mid-day.
Employees told police the man was drinking beer from a large bottle Saturday and distracting as many as 20 customers inside and outside the coffeehouse.
The 47-year-old man had refused to leave the Dinkytown coffeehouse on two previous occasions but departed just before police arrived, according to the police report.
History junior Brock Specht, who works at the cafe, said the man has provoked customers with cryptic messages. “One time he told people he was a warlock,” he said.
Police took the man to Hennepin County Jail for booking.
ù A thief stole $1,750 in car stereo equipment Wednesday afternoon from a vehicle parked in the 21st Avenue Ramp on the West Bank, according to the University police report.
Steve Frisk, University parking area supervisor, said the incident was unusual in a ramp that has had video surveillance since 1984.
Frisk said 316 video cameras filter into the Transportation Services Building. But he added that the cameras, which cover only access points, are primarily to protect people, not property. Still, the tapes will be reviewed in hope of identifying the suspect.

Robert Koch covers police and courts and welcomes comments at [email protected]