Suspect in laptop thefts is arrested

by K.C. Howard

University police arrested a 22-year-old male Monday in connection with a series of laptop thefts in University residence halls.

Police arrested the suspect for possessing stolen goods, which they believe he obtained from Centennial and other Superblock residence halls.

“It sounds like he befriended some of the residents and ended up stealing from them,” Lt. Charles Miner said. “He’s gotten into people’s rooms when they’re in the shower or when they’ve just stepped out.”

Miner said police believe the man is responsible for a series of laptop, cell phone and credit card thefts that occurred in residence halls in the past month.

The suspect was taken into custody at Hennepin County Jail on Monday.

But as of Wednesday afternoon, the suspect had not been charged with any crime and was no longer in custody.

Miner said a Hennepin County attorney is reviewing the allegations and will decide how to charge him at a later date.

In other police news:

university police cited and then released two underage University students with dangerously high blood alcohol levels Sunday morning.

According to the police report, officers first spotted Chad Barta, 20, and Will Van Cleave, 20, dodging oncoming traffic on University Avenue and 17th Street Southeast and throwing objects at vehicles at approximately 12:15 a.m.

After a day of celebrating the Twins’ victory over the Oakland A’s, Barta and Van Cleave registered blood alcohol levels of 0.33 percent and 0.30 percent on breath tests.

“(The drinking) started at 2 o’clock during the Twins game,” Barta said. “It just continued through the whole day and the whole night.”

But according to Boynton Health Service officials, the two students were dangerously drunk.

“A person whose blood alcohol level gets to about .3 (11 drinks in two hours for a 120-pound woman and 13 drinks in two hours for a 150-pound man) is very likely to fall into a coma and could eventually die or experience serious health consequences,” a health awareness report says.

Police officials say there are only two functioning Minneapolis detox centers, and both are full 75 percent of the time and unavailable for those who aren’t in need of immediate medical attention.

“There’s nothing really set in stone,” Miner said. “It depends if there is room for them.”

Miner said the men did not appear to need medical attention.

But Barta, a University of Duluth student who had been partying at a friend’s house Saturday, said he believes police should have procured help for him.

“We both said they should have taken us to detox, especially if I was running in front of traffic,” said Barta, who said he is 5-foot-9-inches and 160 pounds.

“I still had to walk home. I could have done it again,” he said.

Barta added he doesn’t remember meeting police that night.

Van Cleave, a University sophomore, did not return phone calls Wednesday.

a drunken University football player allegedly broke into the practice sports facility on 15th Avenue Southeast on Friday night.

Gophers offensive tackle Matthew McIntosh, 22, kicked in and dented the metal front doors of the facility with a brown Danner boot, according to University police reports.

Police responded to a glass-breaking alarm and arrived to find McIntosh lying on his back in front of the entrance.

“He wasn’t passed out. He was just extremely intoxicated,” Miner said. “He had difficulty talking. He did not recall what happened.”

Police matched a footprint on the door to the shoes of the 6-foot-8-inch, 302-pound football player.

He was cited for damaging the door and released.

a 44-year-old man was arrested outside Territorial Hall after trying to steal a bike.

A student phoned police after she saw the man hunched over the bicycle.

Although the suspect refused to speak to police, the bike’s chain had been cut and police said the man had burglary tools in his bag.

“We think this person was responsible for quite a few of the recent bike thefts we’ve had on the Superblock,” Miner said. “He also matched the description of someone we’ve seen tampering with bike locks on the West Bank.”

Police arrested the suspect for possessing tools intended to aid a burglary.

K.C. Howard welcomes comments at [email protected]