The University of Minnesota issued another robbery-related crime alert after a student was robbed of his backpack and laptop while walking alone in Dinkytown shortly after 10 p.m. on a Saturday.
According to the alert details, the student was walking near the intersection of 17th avenue SE and 4th Street SE when three young men surrounded him and demanded his backpack. The victim complied and the three suspects fled on foot.
University of Minnesota police are investigating the case, and they describe the three suspects as black men between the ages of 20 and 24, standing about 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall with medium builds. The suspect who spoke with the victim was wearing a dark, hooded jacket at the time.
Anyone with information is urged to call the University of Minnesota Police Department at 612-624-2677 and reference case number UM-13-391277.
The victim was not injured; however, he became one of a growing number on campus in recent weeks to have been targeted by robbers -- some armed, and some violent. Just a day prior to the robbery on Saturday, a student had been assaulted and robbed near the intersection of Essex and Ontario streets.
Police say the suspect, a black man between the ages of 20-22 standing between 5 feet 10 inches tall and wearing a maroon Minnesota sweatshirt, punched the victim in the face without warning, and knocked him unconscious. The suspect then fled with the backpack, laptop, and wallet. No suspect was located.
On Wednesday, a man was robbed at gunpoint on his porch near the intersection of 11th Avenue SE and 8th Street SE.
Less than a week prior to the porch robbery, a student told Fox 9 News she was robbed by a man who pulled a gun on her after asking for a cigarette.
About two weeks ago, students were asked to shelter in place on the university's West Bank after an armed robber attempted to steal a laptop in Anderson Hall.
Students at the University of Minnesota aren't the only ones being targeted, either. Just last week, Hamline University warned students to keep a close eye on their electronic devices in public places after one student had her backpack stolen when she got up to use a printer.
In response, school and public safety officials have urged students to walk in pairs or with a group to increase personal safety late at night and on the weekends. UMPD has been actively promoting its Campus Escort Service, 612-624-WALK, and the Gopher Chauffeur, 612-388-6911, as convenient options for securing safe transportation.