String of robberies strikes the University

Seven break-ins and robberies were reported near the University.

Tiffany Lukk

A string of burglaries, where several bikes were stolen, was reported late last week.
 
 
Of the seven reported burglaries reported since Feb. 3, three were on or near 15th Avenue Southeast.
 
 
Minnesota Hillel, Sydney Hall, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union and Erbert and Gerbert’s Sandwich Shop were among the places burglarized.
 
 
The Minneapolis Police Department is unsure if the burglaries were committed by the same person, said Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder.
 
 
“There’s too many variables for me to believe that there’s a pattern,” Elder said.
 
 
Minnesota Hillel was broken into and burglarized early Thursday morning, said Benjie Kaplan, the organization’s executive director.
 
 
Someone smashed a window and proceeded to break things inside the building, he said. A bike was also stolen, Kaplan said.
 
 
In a separate break-in around the same time at Erbert and Gerbert’s, a person broke into the back door of the sandwich shop and stole an employee’s bike and backpack, according to the police report.
 
 
That same night, Sydney Hall was broken into, according to a police report.
 
 
A glass door and table were damaged, said University of Minnesota child psychology sophomore Madison Foster.
 
 
Sydney Hall management declined to comment on what was stolen.
 
 
Two separate detached garages — where more bikes were taken — were broken into on 21st Avenue Southeast last Thursday and Saturday.
 
 
The string of burglaries follows a recent spike in robberies in the University area that lasted several weeks. 
 
 
Credit union robbery
 
 
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union was allegedly robbed by a homeless man last Wednesday, according to a police report. 
 
 
Emery Lee, 31, allegedly walked into Affinity Plus and asked people standing in line if he could go ahead of them because he had a cab outside, said witness Gerald Koplos.
 
 
Lee spoke with the cashier, who Koplos said appeared frightened.
 
 
Lee started counting down and when he got to one, attempted to grab money from the cashier and left, Koplos said.
 
 
Police later arrested Lee, according to the report.