Burglars stayed on campus over break

A string of burglaries occurred at the Florence Court apartments over break.

Morgan Wolfe

The Florence Court apartments at University and 10th avenues southeast had a total of five break-ins and attempted break-ins late last month.

An increase in break-ins is common during long holidays from classes, police say, because students are gone and criminals are aware of that.

Police officials have since evaluated the apartments and the property’s owner has made lighting improvements, said Nick Juarez, the crime prevention specialist for the 2nd Precinct.

The break-ins were reported throughout the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Winter break is an especially vulnerable time for students who leave campus for the holidays, Juarez said.

“The next big time for burglaries is the springtime when it gets warmer and when people open up windows and doors more,” he said.

John Elder, a public information officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, said there were more reported break-ins and burglaries city-wide over the break. He said he encourages students to lock their apartments and homes and ask a neighbor to keep an eye out when they’re away.

Since the string of break-ins, sensor lights have been put outside the Florence Court apartments, and the locks and windows in some apartments have been updated.

Despite several attempts to reach the company that oversees the apartments, no one had responded to requests for comment by press time.

Psychology sophomore Elizabeth Capper, a Florence Court resident, reported on Dec. 26 that she came home from the holiday break to find that her apartment was broken into, but she said nothing was missing.

Five days later, she was changing in her bedroom when someone tried to open a window.

She yelled to the person to say someone was home, and she then ran to her friend’s apartment upstairs to call the police.

Recent University graduate Alexis Ozeron, a Florence Court resident, was woken up to the sound of her deck door shaking at about 3:30 a.m. Her dog began barking, which she thinks scared the person off.

No arrests had been made in any of the burglaries as of Jan. 19, Elder said, and there isn’t enough information to determine that the crimes are related.

University of Minnesota Police Department Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said despite the increase in break-ins near campus, students should feel safe.

Those who break into students’ apartments are typically looking for valuables rather than aiming to hurt people, he said.

“Some of the bad guys are aware that it is break and there will be less people around to confront them,” Miner said.