Dining and dashing at Applebee's. Getting kicked out of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. Using amenities at various student apartments. The Minneapolis Police Department has noticed a trend of juveniles loitering on and around campus since September, and are preparing for increased activity this spring.
When the University of Minnesota’s academic year began in September, bands of teen boys began roaming the areas around campus. They started near WaHu Apartments and in Stadium Village. More recently, they've moved to fraternity row, house parties in the Marcy-Holmes area and several Dinkytown apartments and restaurants.
"These boys are local. Since the fall and up until winter break, we had seen incidents almost every weekend," said Nicholas Juarez, MPD crime prevention specialist. Because they are juvenile, police haven’t released their identities.
Apartments have been a common location for loitering. Juveniles have been caught smoking tobacco and marijuana in the hallways and common rooms, using building amenities and harassing residents, Juarez said.
At WaHu, management and staff have noticed juveniles trespassing to use the building’s indoor pool and smoke in the parking garage. WaHu staff have created a trespassing list where images of the boys are flagged for night security.
"If they enter our property, we call the police," leasing agent Kelli Clostermery said. "Since we've upped security, we haven't seen them."
Staff at The Marshall apartments in Dinkytown have also dealt with juvenile trespassers, who most often enter the property to use its basketball courts.
"When that happens, our CAs that are staffed will either go to the basketball courts and escort them out or we will contact security. In the event that we have to, we will call the police." said property manager Renee Reynolds. "Since August, I'd say this has happened maybe five or six times."
More groups of juveniles have also been crashing fraternity and house parties on campus. Interfraternity Council President Billy Langer said in an email that there have been multiple instances of non-University students attempting to gain entry to fraternity parties.
"Due to their names not being registered on the event list, they are always denied access to our parties by security monitors at the door," Langer said.
Juarez said MPD alerts the fraternities about these occurrences and how to prevent them.
Restaurants around campus have sighted the groups as well. McDonald’s is a common spot for the loitering in Dinkytown. In Stadium Village, the groups have dined and dashed at Applebee’s and disrupted service at Raising Cane’s.
Kerry Kramp owns both the Stadium Village Raising Cane's and the new Dinkytown location, which will reportedly open next month. He said a regular group of adolescents cause problems for the restaurant. They won't order food, are loud in the lobby and are not respectful of the establishment's requests.
"They've been pretty disrespectful to police officers," Kramp said.
Raising Cane's will likely add private security on Friday and Saturday nights to control such situations, he said.
"In the new Dinkytown location, we will open with that security. We'll be phasing in a security plan in our Stadium Village location this summer," Kramp said. "This will be off-duty police officers or private security."
MPD is preparing for an increase in juvenile loitering on campus this spring. "Spring Jam is probably going to be our first big event down in that area," he said. "We'll see if we see that trend ramp up."