Slew of car break-ins hit campus area

Many of the 46 break-in victims had valuables in their car that were not stolen.

Raya Zimmerman

On Wednesday morning, Dinkytown resident Ashley Nelson left her Eighth Street Southeast apartment to find her car window smashed and her purse emptied onto the parking lot beside her car.

Nelson is just one of 46 Minneapolis residents who have reported car break-ins near campus so far this month, according to a Minneapolis crime alert. Car owners have reported their passenger side windows smashed and their cars rummaged through, but what makes these break-ins unusual is not what the suspects took but what they left behind.

“They went through my center console and the only thing that I can tell that they took are batteries,” Nelson said. “My wallet was completely open but they didnâÄôt take anything out of it.”

Minneapolis police are investigating this string of vehicle break-ins that occurred in patches of the Southeast Como neighborhood and in Dinkytown over the past two weeks. Tuesday and Wednesday nights were the worst.

Of the 46 reported vehicle damages, a quarter of them had only been broken into, and nothing had been taken. There are currently no suspects.

In University of Minnesota student Michael BogdaâÄòs case, his passenger window was broken, but a knife valued at $300 was left untouched. The suspect supposedly rode up to BogdaâÄôs house on 16th Avenue, broke into both his and his roommateâÄôs cars, stole $40 and an iPod cord and took off with his roommateâÄôs bike, leaving the other one behind.

“I canâÄôt look into the minds of the people I donâÄôt know,” Minneapolis police Sgt. Bill Palmer said of any possible connection among the crimes, though he noted there hasnâÄôt been a pattern of the types of cars being targeted.

Anthony HokansonâÄôs 2005 BMW was parked in the same lot as NelsonâÄôs when ransacked. The suspect only took his iPod, which is valued at a lower price than his radar detector, which was still there.

One student, Zach Budish, said when his car was broken into, the suspects were “pretty quiet about it.”

Minneapolis police told Budish the suspects have a way to break into the window so it “doesnâÄôt make any noise, but it just shatters and it makes the whole window disperse,” he said.

âÄîLuke Feuerherm contributed to this report.