Thieves steal phones from parties

Also, a student reported being groped in Prospect Park on Thursday.

Nicholas Studenski

House parties near campus saw a string of thefts this weekend.

At least five thefts were reported to Minneapolis police last weekend in the Marcy-Holmes and Southeast Como neighborhoods.

Philosophy and cultural studies and comparative literature junior Peter Hogenson’s phone was stolen from a friend’s house Sunday morning, according to a Minneapolis police report.

Police spokesman John Elder said it’s typical to see a spike in theft and similar crimes as students return to campus for the spring semester.

Hogenson said he set his phone down in his friend’s room for a few hours. When he returned to gather his things, it was gone. He said he was able to track his phone’s GPS to an area in south Minneapolis but didn’t get it back.

Though he doesn’t think the theft is as concerning as recent, more brazen crimes like armed robberies and assaults, Hogenson noted that the crime was consistent with the trend of suspects coming from off campus.

In order to keep belongings safe, Elder said it’s best for students to keep them in sight.

Ultimately, Hogenson said he isn’t worried about his security.

“I feel pretty safe on campus,” he said.

Groping in Prospect Park

A University of Minnesota student was the victim of criminal sexual conduct when she was groped in Prospect Park on Thursday afternoon, according to an email crime alert sent by University police Chief Greg Hestness to faculty, staff and students.

While walking on Huron Boulevard near Stadium View Apartments at about 4:55 p.m., a man stopped the student by grabbing her shoulder and touching her genital area over her clothes.

According to the alert, the student confronted the suspect and he walked away.

The suspect is described as a white man between 45 and 50 years old and approximately 5 feet 4 inches tall with a medium build. He was wearing a blue and gray jacket with dark pants, glasses and a gray winter hat, the alert said.

University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said the incident doesn’t appear to be part of a pattern.

This is the 18th crime alert for 24 crimes University police have sent so far this school year.