U campus quiet after violent robberies a week earlier

  • Article by: ANTHONY LONETREE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 20, 2013 - 8:07 PM

Three agencies deployed extra officers, with “zero incidents” reported, after four robberies last weekend, authorities said.

University of Minnesota police reported a “very quiet weekend” after a rash of violent robberies a week ago that prompted the U and two other agencies to put extra ­personnel on the streets and on buses the past few days.

There were “zero incidents,” said Matt Hodson, a U spokesman.

The stepped-up enforcement was coordinated with Metro Transit and Minneapolis police, and probably will continue for the next few weekends, Hodson said Sunday.

A week ago, university students fell victim to four separate ­robberies on or near campus during the early morning of Oct. 13. In each case, police said, two or more victims were assaulted and robbed by five to six males. The same suspects were believed to be involved in each ­incident, police said.

The robberies occurred between 1 and 4:45 a.m. at the intersection of Harvard Street and Washington Avenue, the intersection of 17th Street and University Avenue and on a Metro Transit bus near the ­Willey Hall stop. Stolen items included ­wallets, cash and cellphones.

Metro Transit spokesman John Siqveland said Sunday that ­transit police had been deployed about midweek and that its officers were patrolling on foot and on buses. “From our perspective, it was a quiet weekend,” he said.

Siqveland said Metro Transit planned to speak with university police to determine its next steps.

Minneapolis police spokesman Sgt. William Palmer said Sunday he did know whether officers were involved in any incidents around the campus this weekend.

Even though last week’s victims were not traveling alone, police advised in a campus crime alert that walking with someone is the easiest way to ensure safety late at night and on weekends. For those who cannot find someone to walk with them, free security escorts are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, by calling 612-624-9255.

Anyone with information about last week’s robberies are asked to call university police at 612-624-2677.

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