Dinkytown businesses fall victim to new, “aggressive” crime

Area business owners said the Library Bar and GrillâÄôs electricity was cut early morning on Oct. 20, killing the cameras and the ADT alarm system , allowing for an unnoticed break-in. Burglars stole the LibraryâÄôs 500-pound safe, Minneapolis Police Sgt. Jesse Garcia said in a previous interview. This seemingly elaborately planned burglary, which may have cost the Library its entire weekend take, is one of a series of crimes raising the alert level in Dinkytown, Skott Johnson, Dinkytown Business Association president, said. âÄúI think this is a whole new territory,âÄù Johnson said. âÄúIâÄôm not used to break-ins where safes have been stolen.âÄù Johnson cites this burglary, a robbery and burglary at the Blarney Pub and Grill in June and the gun-point robbery at House of Hanson in late August as a new set of more aggressive crime in Dinkytown. âÄúI see people going in and paying for a $2 item with a $100 bill and sometimes the clerk will say, âÄòWell, IâÄôve got to go upstairs to the safe to break this,âÄô âÄù Johnson said. âÄúAnd IâÄôm thinking thatâÄôs what some people want to hear,âÄù he said. âÄú âÄòWhere do you keep the money?âÄô âÄù Burglary is the second-most common crime in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood , with 12 in September alone. Pat Weinberg, owner of the Purple Onion , said burglars robbed his cafe twice within opening week in 2007, the second time stealing the safe, which weighed about 150 pounds. Weinberg said these crimes taught him a lesson. Now he has his money collected several times a day to minimize the damage a thief can do. Greg Pillsbury, co-owner of Burrito Loco , has also dealt with burglary at his restaurant. He said even with his camera system on, it was difficult to catch the criminals that burglarized his bar and grill. âÄúBut the police donâÄôt have a face database really,âÄù Pillsbury said. âÄúThe cops said, âÄòUnless someone in my precinct says, âÄúOh look, itâÄôs Larry,âÄù how are we gonna find them?âÄô âÄù Pillsbury said because burglary is common, business owners should invest in as much precaution as possible, including heavy doors, strong locks, cameras and safes bolted down from the inside. âÄúYou canâÄôt stop someone from doing what they want to do,âÄù he said. âÄúAllâÄôs you can do is try to make it as hard for them as possible.âÄù This more aggressive crime calls for more aggressive courts, Johnson said. âÄúThe people that broke into [Burrito Loco], all three of them have been caught three times, and each time released,âÄù he said. Mark Martinez , the marketing director for the Library Bar and Grill, said he canâÄôt release specifics about the recent burglary. The police have no new suspects or leads in the case.