University police see lull in action

Summer crime rates remain predictably tepid.

To the delight of police, few serious crimes have occurred around campus since the end of spring semester âÄî a trend expected to end now that middle and high school students are out for the summer, police said. Since May 16, the official end of spring semester, the only consistent crime on campus has been theft. There have been 11 thefts and two attempted burglaries in University buildings âÄî most of which were bicycles and wallets, according to police reports. âÄúOur number one crime on campus is theft, and thatâÄôs constant year roundâÄù University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said. âÄú[Crime] should start picking up when the K-12 kids are out of school or when the summer session starts this week or next.âÄù Fewer amounts of students make it easier for police to navigate streets, and help reveal people that look suspicious and out of place, Miner said. âÄúWith fewer victims on campus, there are fewer opportunities for thieves,âÄù Miner added. The majority of University police cases have involved traffic violations âÄî there have been 36 since May 16. Six of those have been DWIs, and there was one police chase involving a motorcycle, according to University police statistics. One woman was charged with fourth degree assault for biting a police officer and hitting her in the face with a shoe May 25 . âÄòMissed chanceâÄô Thursday, a man used a stolen U Card to purchase expensive textbooks at two University bookstores and was caught trying to buy a $2000 Apple computer âÄî he fled the scene and was not captured, Miner said. The U Card belonged to University senior Alex Fernandez , 22, whose wallet was stolen from an open locker at the University Recreation Center Wednesday night. By the end of that day, $650 dollars had been spent at Target using his check card, Fernandez said. Although Fernandez said he canceled his check card, his U Card remained activated. The next morning, the alleged thief was caught trying to buy a laptop at the St. Paul bookstore by FernandezâÄôs roommate, who âÄúby the grace of godâÄù worked the register at the bookstore that day, Fernandez said. The man had purchased four expensive medical school textbooks earlier that morning, according to the police report. The victimâÄôs roommate, Andrew Shimota , knew of the missing wallet and fraudulent charges, and was shocked to have FernandezâÄôs U Card handed to him. âÄúI froze for a second âÄî I didnâÄôt know what to do,âÄù Shimota said. âÄúI wanted to grab the guy.âÄù Shimota confronted the man, who said he was using FernandezâÄôs card by permission. After Shimota said he knew that wasnâÄôt true, the man bolted. âÄúHe grabbed the card and wallet and speed walked out of the store,âÄù Shimota said. Shimona trailed the man for a few blocks, but lost him around Bailey Hall , Miner said. Miner described the alleged thief as a âÄúwhite college aged male with brownish blonde hair that covered his ears.âÄù An investigation is active, and police will be reviewing video from the Coffman bookstore, Miner said. University Bookstore Director Bob Crabb would not comment on security issues for this story. Fernandez will be reimbursed for the purchases, the University told him. Shimota said he is upset he didnâÄôt detain the man. âÄúIâÄôve always wanted to put somebody under citizenâÄôs arrest,âÄù he said. âÄúI missed my chance.âÄù