Burglar ransacks Southeast residence

The police could find no evidence of the criminal’s presence in the house.

by Kevin Behr

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A suitcase full of clothes turned into a burglar’s bag of loot early Friday in the Southeast Como neighborhood.

Asian languages junior Will Rajkowski said he came home from work at Mariucci Arena around 1:30 a.m. to find that someone had rummaged through his drawers and stolen his laptop, a pair of Bose speakers and an external hard drive.

He said the burglar emptied Rajkowski’s clothing-filled suitcase, stuffed the gadgets inside and left with the whole bundle.

“It’s surprising,” he said, referring to crime in the Dinkytown area. “It’s getting worse and worse.”

Rajkowski said his laptop had a couple rough drafts of papers he was working on and about 7,000 songs. He had the data backed up on an external drive, but the thief stole that as well, he said.

“I lost the majority of my music,” he said. “So I’m back to the stereo and CD player right now.”

Many people were moving in and out of the house, and it was unclear whether the front door was locked at the time of the incident, said Minneapolis Police Lt. Amelia Huffman. Police didn’t find any damage and the burglar failed to leave behind any physical evidence that could be used to track him, police said.

Rajkowski said nothing else was taken from the house, including from his roommates’ rooms on the lower level and the living room.

The case has not been assigned to an investigator, but the laptop’s serial number was added to a database which tracks stolen items in case they are sold in pawn shops, Huffman said.

Three laptops vanish

In the past week, at least three laptops were stolen from University buildings. Two of them are University property.

Sometime overnight Feb. 22, someone stole a laptop from an office in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science building on campus, according to a police report.

The door had been locked, but no evidence of it being forced open was found, police said.

The computer’s serial number and any possible suspect information will be needed for further investigation, said Steve Johnson, deputy chief of University police.

Between Friday and Monday, a second laptop was stolen from the same building.

Associate professor Heiko Jacobs said the laptop is usually stored in a locked office. He said sometimes he would leave the office for short periods of time, leaving the door unlocked, but didn’t notice the computer was gone until Monday.

Jacobs said he doesn’t store sensitive material on the computer and everything on the hard drive is under fingerprint-based encryption.

“It’s very hard to use,” he said. “You’d have to reformat everything.”

Nothing ties the two thefts together in a concrete way, but their proximity and timing suggests they might be related, Johnson said.

A personal laptop disappeared from an office in Cooke Hall on Friday evening, according to a police report.

Police said the victim left the office and locked the door. When the person returned, the door was still locked, but his computer was missing.

Many people who work with the victim have access to his office with a key, but he doesn’t suspect his co-workers would steal the laptop, Johnson said.

Investigation into the theft is inactive, but police entered the computer’s serial number into monitoring systems, Johnson said.