U issues safety alert after nine thefts

University police also reported recovering two stolen vehicles and several arrests.

Koran Addo

University police issued a campus safety alert Feb. 20 after nine thefts were reported on the St. Paul campus.

There were 37 thefts in the last two weeks from University buildings.

A campus safety alert notifies police and residents of affected areas of crimes and suggests ways people can protect themselves.

Police have a white man in custody and are still looking for a 25- to 30-year-old black man about 6 feet tall with a medium build in connection with the St. Paul thefts.

According to the crime alert, the suspects entered unlocked offices and labs and stole items such as laptops, purses and wallets.

University police Capt. Steve Johnson said these thefts fit the classic examples.

“(Thefts) are occurring in unlocked, unsecured offices where the opportunity is ripe for thefts to occur,” he said.

With the weather warming up, there is an increase in illegal activity and people need to take steps to make it more difficult for thieves to work, Johnson said.

“Lock your desk drawers, lock your offices; if you see something suspicious, if you see someone coming out of an office and something doesn’t feel right, call (the police),” he said.

• University police recovered two stolen vehicles and almost recovered a third.

In one instance two officers were dispatched to assist a motorist whose stalled car was blocking traffic in southeast Minneapolis.

Instead of assisting the motorist, William Young of Minneapolis, the officers arrested him after determining the car was stolen.

University police took eight people into custody Monday after officers concluded the car they were traveling in was stolen.

Johnson said police took all eight occupants into custody because officers could not immediately determine who was driving.

According to police reports, the officers could not determine who was driving because the vehicle had tinted windows and all eight occupants

were huddled in the back seat when officers approached the car.

After interviewing the eight suspects, police arrested 18-year-old Hussein Ahmed of Minneapolis.

In a third instance of a reported stolen vehicle, a University police officer spotted a vehicle reported stolen traveling eastbound on Interstate 94.

After calling for backup, the officers removed and handcuffed three suspects from the vehicle at gunpoint.

Officers learned the car had been previously stolen, but Minneapolis police recovered it earlier in the month.

Police released all three occupants after finding the car’s license number had not been removed from the National Crime Information Center’s database, an institution police rely on to track stolen vehicles.

ï This week during routine traffic stops, Minneapolis police found seven people wanted by police. No other information was available.

ï Eight kegs of beer were reported stolen from Mariucci Arena this week. Officials at the arena are not sure when these thefts occurred and declined further comment.

ï University police responded to a call last week of three people skateboarding inside of Willey Hall, causing extensive damage to the building’s furniture.

Officers cited and released two juveniles and 18-year-old Ross Hjelngren.