Local neighborhoods riddled with robbery

Students reported being attacked only blocks away from their homes.

Kevin Behr

Robberies have been plaguing neighborhoods near campus throughout 2006.

In the last week, the Marcy-Holmes and Prospect Park neighborhoods each experienced three robberies, said Carol Oosterhuis, crime prevention specialist for Minneapolis Police Department Precinct 2, in an e-mail alert Wednesday.

The robberies have prompted the precinct to do additional patrolling in those areas, she said.

Though the neighborhoods are home to diverse populations, the majority of robbery victims this week were students.

Tackled in parking lot

Two men got out of a car and tackled a University student early Saturday in Prospect Park, stealing her purse.

University sophomore Heather Kapps said she was returning home from a party at a friend’s house a block away when the incident occurred.

She said she thought a car was just driving through the University Commons’ parking lot when it stopped and two men got out.

The men tackled her and stole her purse, which had her phone, wallet and camera inside.

Minneapolis police Lt. Greg Reinhardt said descriptions of the suspects and the vehicle were vague, and the case is open for further investigation.

Kapps said she thought the area she lived in was safer because most crime happens elsewhere.

“I was one of those people that thought it would never happen to me,” she said. “I can’t even sleep in my apartment because I don’t feel safe anymore.”

Attacked near home

An unknown person attacked a University student in his driveway late Friday.

Brent Price, a political science and history senior, said he was walking to his Marcy-Holmes home from a fundraiser when somebody ran up behind him and asked him for the time.

“Being the nice guy that I am, I was going to help him out,” he said, “but as soon as I looked down at my watch, he open-hand cracked me.”

The blow knocked Price’s cell phone out of his hand and both he and the attacker lunged for it on the ground, Price said.

“He didn’t think I was going stick up for myself and he got kind of scared, I think,” he said.

Price said he grabbed his phone and ran toward his house; the would-be thief and two of his friends chased him up the driveway.

Reinhardt said the three juvenile attackers ran away after Price made it inside and called the police. The crime could possibly be linked to another in the area, but it is too early to make that assessment, Reinhardt said.

Price said the incident was “pretty shocking” because it happened just 30 feet away from his house.

The event was a learning experience, said Price, who advised people to always walk with friends.

Victim screamed for help

A University student struggled to keep her purse after being attacked late Tuesday.

The attack happened about a block away from her house in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood, according to the police report.

Reinhardt said a female grabbed the victim’s purse and a struggle ensued. The victim screamed for help to attract attention to the situation, he said.

University sophomore Dan Dukich heard the cries for help.

At first, he thought it was just some students being “crazy,” but when he looked out his window, he saw the two women struggling for the purse, he said.

“I yelled out the window just to make noise,” Dukich said. “As soon as I screamed, the mugger ran off.”

He said he ran out of his apartment and told his roommate to call police.

Dukich went outside to console the victim and found her crying.

“I gave her a hug and made sure she wasn’t hurt,” he said. “She was fine.”

The student managed to keep her purse, but the attacker got away.