The University of Minnesota reported this week that 10 robberies occurred within five days around the Dinkytown and Stadium Village areas.
On May 10, the university publicized information on the robberies using its “Safe-U Advisory” service, which disseminates safety notifications to students and staff.
The U of M reported that four aggravated robberies, two robberies of persons, and four thefts of persons happened between May 6 and May 10. All cases involved suspects taking cellphones from U of M students.
“The incidents are being investigated with the Minneapolis Police Department,” the notification reads, also noting that university police will cooperate with the MPD when assistance is needed.
Students are advised to take campus shuttles when possible, walk in groups, and avoid using phones while walking, since “a distraction like this makes you an easier target,” the notification says.
Additionally, the U of M reported another robbery on May 4, an aggravated robbery on May 2, and an aggravated assault on May 2, all incidents surrounding campus.
In total, since the beginning of March, the U has reported 17 robberies, one assault, one attempted burglary, and one shooting on or close to campus. The shooting occurred on March 30 at the 400 block of 13th Avenue SE and resulted in one death and one non-life-threatening gunshot wound to another victim.
Still, U students are calling for the “demilitarization of police” on campus. In an editorial published by the Star Tribune on May 10, shortly after the U’s safety notification was released, sophomore student Andrew Tisell argued that moving police funds to “alternative methods of campus safety” would be impactful and make students feel safer than they do now.
Tisell suggested that “the possession of military-grade hardware by UMPD” does not increase safety or trust among students.
Last month, a student government leader at the U of M encouraged students to make fake crime calls to cops in order to “disrupt” them, “use up their resources,” and “make their lives hell.”
Yet another student government leader at the U falsely accused officers of racial profiling earlier this year, saying he was afraid of getting shot at by the cops. In reality, body camera footage showed the officers to be exceptionally polite throughout their one-minute interaction with the student.
The university provides several safety tips on its website, including walking “cheaply” by carrying a minimum amount of valuables, traveling in groups, always having location services active on cellphones in case of a robbery, using a cheap bike while on campus, and knowing the bike’s serial number in case of theft.