Burglars take advantage of unsecured houses in Marcy-Holmes

Also, a fight got a Blarney bouncer a black eye on Saturday night.

Kaitlin Walker

Unlocked doors and windows led to at least four of the five burglaries reported over the weekend in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood near the University of Minnesota campus.

Burglars hit the same multi-unit residence on Sixth Street Southeast two nights in a row âÄî the upper apartment was burglarized Saturday between 3 and 3:30 a.m. and the lower apartment was burglarized between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

The front door to the building was supposed to automatically lock, which means the residents usually left their unit doors unlocked, said Nate Moen, an accounting major who works outside the editorial division at the Minnesota Daily.

The suspect got away with a laptop, a 32-inch TV, three wallets, a backpack and a bottle of whiskey, Moen said.

âÄúSo now weâÄôre locking all our doors,âÄù he said. âÄúI think it was us being not secure enough, and if we had just been in better practices, it wouldnâÄôt have happened.âÄù

The suspect who broke into the lower apartment later that night entered by opening a storm window and then the unlocked main window on the east side of the house, according to a Minneapolis police report.

When the residents woke up, they found a wallet and a laptop missing. The flat screen TV had been unplugged but was not taken.

On Sunday Chris Jeong, a psychology sophomore, opened his door at 3 a.m. to find three men in his apartment attempting to take his laptop.

âÄúI thought that they might have a gun, so I just grabbed my phone and got out of my room,âÄù Jeong said.

The suspects left and didnâÄôt take the laptop but grabbed an external hard drive, he said.

Jeong said the door to his apartment on 11th Avenue Southeast was left unlocked because the main door is always supposed to be closed and secure.

âÄúI lock the door every time now,âÄù Jeong said.

That same day between 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. someone used the unlocked front door to enter Benjamin MartinâÄôs Sixth Avenue Southeast apartment.

Martin, an environmental sciences sophomore, told his roommates he would be coming home that night but stayed at a friendâÄôs place.

He said his roommates left the door open for him, and a suspect took the opportunity to take MartinâÄôs laptop and digital camera. The suspect also stole MartinâÄôs car, using the keys in his room.

âÄúI keep thinking that it could have been a lot worse,âÄù Martin said. âÄúBut itâÄôs still pretty bad.âÄù

Police told Martin there is an 80 percent chance he will get his car back and that itâÄôs common for suspects to take a joy ride and then dump the car somewhere nearby.

Martin said the situation is frustrating and that he and his roommates will start locking their doors âÄúno matter what.âÄù

âÄúIâÄôm a little weary,âÄù Martin said, âÄúIâÄôm trying to be as optimistic as possible.âÄù

Bouncer gets black eye at Blarney

A fight at Blarney Pub and Grill in Dinkytown on Saturday left a bouncer with a black eye and two men in police custody.

Minneapolis police were flagged down by security at the bar around 1:30 a.m. after Neil Steffen, a bouncer who was the victim of a drunken fight last month, attempted to break up a fight in front of the bar.

Matthew Ficocello, one of the men in the fight, turned on the bouncer and started swinging at him, according to a Minneapolis police report.

Steffen pinned Ficocello to the ground before FicocelloâÄôs friend intervened. The friend managed to pull Steffen away from Ficocello, who then punched Steffen in the face, leaving a black bruise and a small cut under his left eye.

Ficocello was arrested by Minneapolis police, who put him in the back of a squad car and cited him for assault.

According to police reports, TJay Wojciechowski then approached officers and started arguing with them about FicocelloâÄôs arrest.

Officers told Wojciechowski to step back from the car, but the drunken Wojciechowski was encouraged by the growing crowd of âÄúintoxicatedâÄù people from nearby bars and became âÄúbelligerent,âÄù refusing to step away, according to a police report.

The crowd grew louder and encouraged Wojciechowski to get badge numbers, and some bystanders even attempted to video tape officers using cellphones, according to the report.

Wojciechowski was arrested for disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process and was booked at the Hennepin County Jail. He was released at 5:30 a.m. later that day after posting $50 bail.