Car break-ins still plague campus

Also, a car was tipped over early Monday morning in Dinkytown.

James Nord

Car break-ins have decreased slightly since last year, according to Minneapolis police, but to first-year student Chelsey Simon, whose car was broken into last week, thatâÄôs hardly consolation. Simon said she had a stereo, high-end speakers and a jacket stolen from her vehicle after thieves broke her front passenger side window and tore up parts of the interior of the car, including the trunk. âÄúI guess I was just disappointed,âÄù she said. âÄúI didnâÄôt really understand how someone can just take the time to break into someoneâÄôs vehicle and take stuff that isnâÄôt theirs. It would never cross my mind to do something like that.âÄù There were 630 thefts from motor vehicles by this time last year. This year there have been 598 break-ins so far âÄî a 5 percent decrease âÄî 2nd Precinct Investigations Lt. Commander Greg Reinhardt said. However, Reinhardt said it is still an important issue that police in the precinct are working to mitigate. âÄúDecrease or not, itâÄôs your car, and itâÄôs your valuables that are lost,âÄù he said. Police have employed multiple methods to combat break-ins, Reinhardt said, such as keeping track of convicted thieves after they are released from jail, educating community members and students about how to keep their belongings safe and attempting to reduce demand for stolen goods. âÄúThe 5 percent reduction, itâÄôs nice to have that, but I think there are greater reductions that can be made and part of it is getting the message out,âÄù Reinhardt said. For instance, police have used informational fliers and meetings with greek councils, student housing officials from the University and private student housing management companies to spread their message of prevention, Reinhardt said. ItâÄôs difficult for police to catch thieves after a break-in has been reported, because there is no distinct profile for the thieves. âÄúWhat does a theft from motor vehicle suspect look like? Well, I donâÄôt know, some guy with a backpack,âÄù Reinhardt said. âÄúYou think there might be somebody who looks like that around the U? Some young person with a backpack whoâÄôs standing by a car? Well, gee, that kind of describes about 50,000 people there.âÄù Reinhardt said the best thing people can do is take all the valuables from their vehicle when they get out. Additionally, keeping records of valuable possessions helps police identify stolen objects if they are located. The University of Minnesota Parking and Transportation Services works with police and students if their cars are broken into on University property, PTS Communications Official Jacqueline Brudlos said. Car tipped over A group of men overturned a car early Monday morning in the University Lutheran Church of Hope parking lot in Dinkytown, according to a police report. University student Chrissi Quinn saw a group of three men walking away from the hatchback laughing and joking just after 1 a.m. The car was tipped onto its passenger side. Quinn thought the men might have been intoxicated. âÄúIâÄôm thinking they might have been drunk, because they get Hulk powers when they drink or something,âÄù she said. The noise startled Quinn, who was preparing to go to sleep, and caused her to look out her window. âÄúThey were really loud and obnoxious and didnâÄôt sound coherent, from what I could tell,âÄù Quinn said. âÄúI donâÄôt really know very many sober people that would flip a car just for fun.âÄù The car had an Ontario license plate, so police were unable to contact the owner, Quinn said. They canvassed the neighborhood with Quinn and her roommate attempting to locate those responsible. âÄúSomebody went the next morning and found broken glass and was like, âÄòWhere is my car?âÄô âÄù Quinn said.