Bias graffiti and robberies reported

The vandalism, found in Frontier Hall, was considered "homophobic."

Elizabeth Cook

University police received a report of graffiti Tuesday in Frontier Hall.

This is the first bias crime reported this year, said Steve Johnson, deputy police chief for the University.

Wachen Anderson, Housing and Residential Life judicial affairs coordinator, said the graffiti was “homophobic” in nature.

According to the police report, while two community advisers were doing rounds of the building, they found someone had written on the walls and an elevator door.

University police took pictures of the damage and it was cleaned up.

Anderson said she didn’t know what was used to write the graffiti, but it came off very easily.

There are no suspects, Johnson said.

Julie Sweitzer, director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, said this was the first “expressed statement of hatred” reported this semester.

Sweitzer said the office works with discrimination cases throughout the year, but this was the first bias crime it has dealt with this semester.

Four more robberies

Four robberies were reported between Saturday and Tuesday in the surrounding University areas.

Jim Long, crime prevention specialist for the 2nd Police Precinct in Minneapolis, said one robbery happened at 8:45 p.m. Monday near the corner of Eighth Avenue Southeast and University Avenue Southeast.

Three suspects approached a college student and took his wallet and cell phone.

Ron Reier, public information officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, said the items were taken using physical force and there were no weapons involved.

Long said the student refused medical attention.

The other incident also happened Monday, at 10:45 p.m. on the corner of Delaware Street Southeast and Ontario Street Southeast.

A 17-year-old girl was walking alongside the street when a car pulled up next to her; the driver jumped out, grabbed her purse and got back into the car.

Reier said no weapons were used.

The next robbery happened at 10:30 p.m. Sunday in the 900 block of Washington Avenue Southeast.

Long said it seems a 20-year-old University student was getting into her car when suspects demanded her car and stole her belongings.

There was a gun involved, but there were no injuries, Long said.

Another robbery happened at 12:15 a.m. Saturday at the corner of Fifth Avenue Southeast and Fifth Street Southeast.

Three people were walking along the street when three suspects wearing ski masks confronted them. One suspect demanded all their wallets.

The victims said the suspects then ran off and were seen getting into a vehicle parked about a block away, Long said.

James De Sota, neighborhood coordinator for the Southeast Como Improvement Association, said the number of robberies has stayed “relatively even” compared with last semester.

De Sota said the robberies are still a definite concern among residents in the neighborhood.