A man was robbed at gunpoint near the University of Minnesota campus early Sunday morning in the area’s second armed robbery within about a week. The victim, who isn’t affiliated with the University, was crossing the footbridge near Van Cleve Park at about 2:30 a.m. when four men wearing ski masks approached him from behind, threatened him with a gun and demanded his valuables, according to a crime alert sent to the campus community. The men took his wallet, cellphone and phone charger and fled south on 14th Avenue Southeast, the alert said.
A man was robbed at gunpoint around 2:30 a.m. in Marcy-Holmes Sunday morning, according to a crime alert from University of Minnesota Police Chief Greg Hestness. The victim was unaffiliated with the University and lost his phone and wallet in the robbery, which took place on the footbridge near Van Cleve Park, according to Sunday’s alert. The victim said four men approached him from behind wearing ski masks, threatened him with a gun and demanded his valuables. The men fled south on 14th Avenue Southeast.
Though crime is down overall citywide, elected officials and community members are concerned about the well-being of youth. They’re questioning the effectiveness of a youth violence prevention plan that was established seven years ago, saying more needs to be done to curb youth violence in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. “There’s not enough engagement in the community to really break down what the [plan] is,” said Abdirahman Mukhtar, a community engagement coordinator at the Brian Coyle Center.
Minneapolis authorities are planning to focus on weak points in the city’s safety initiatives in 2015, even after a year marked by the lowest crime rates in three decades.
Minneapolis crime rates for 2014 were the lowest in 30 years, said Mayor Betsy Hodges and Minneapolis Police Chief JaneÃ© Harteau at a community meeting Thursday. City officials presented statistics that boasted an overall decrease in crime in the city, however Hodges said there is still work that needs to be done to address the unequal distribution of crime. “Minneapolis is a safe city, but it is safer for some more than it is for others,” she said.
In September, law enforcement officials were bracing themselves for the upcoming football season and for TCF Bank Stadium to host both Gophers and Minnesota Vikings games. Many anticipated an increase in “incivility” crimes, like disturbances, assaults and parties, said University of Minnesota police Chief Greg Hestness. “The neighborhoods have been concerned that either the Vikings and/or Gophers game days would cause more mayhem,” he said.
About 50 people lay down on the pavement outside of TCF Bank Stadium around noon Sunday pretending to be dead. The group was protesting against police brutality before and during the Minnesota Vikings football game against the New York Jets, orchestrating the “die in,” as well as chanting and waving signs.
Minnesota will have about a $1 billion surplus for the 2016-17 biennial budget, according to a forecast released Thursday by the Minnesota Management and Budget office. The report also predicted a $373 million surplus for the upcoming 2014-15 biennium. The surplus, which doesn’t account for inflation, is the result of an increase in tax revenues and a drop in spending, said MMB Legislative and Communications Director John Pollard.
An unusual crime punctuated an expectedly quiet Thanksgiving break for campus police, said University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner. At about 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning, Miner said, University police witnessed a man waving his arms as he walked down Huron Boulevard Southeast. He said the man “had his arms out like a bird” and was “walking with a swagger that appeared as if he wanted all traffic to stop behind him.”
University of Minnesota police are beginning to respond to a shift in crime patterns as the weather gains its icy Minnesota chill. “With the cool-down over the last couple of weeks, activity seems to be decreasing,” said University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner. Crime tends to move indoors as the weather grows colder, he said, so instances of thefts and burglaries within University buildings occasionally spike during the winter. “Even criminals don’t like the cold,” he said.
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