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Police seeking new person of interest in U of M armed robbery attempt

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Police officials are looking for a new person of interest in connection with Monday's armed robbery attempt on the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus after clearing a man pictured in an early security image, the Pioneer Press reports.

"UMPD has identified that person and cleared him of any wrongdoing," university police officials said Wednesday.

Authorities say a man approached a woman in Anderson Hall Monday, revealing a gun and demanding her laptop. After the woman screamed, the man ran into the university’s tunnel system with her empty backpack, police said.

FOX 9 says a new security camera image captures a man running through Blegen Hall about one minute after the attempted robbery. The station pointed out how officials referred to the man as a "person of interest" rather than a suspect.

U of M President Eric Kaler Tuesday said that the university was stepping up security measures following Monday's incident. The campus has also seen a number of high-profile robbery attempts and assaults since early August.

But at a news conference Wednesday, U of M Police Chief Greg Hestness said crime levels near campus are not above normal, the Star Tribune reports.

“Statistically, and in reality, our campus remains very, very safe,” Hestness said.

According to Hestness, the campus and nearby neighborhoods have had 17 robberies so far this fall. In most years, he said, the number of incidents rises to 22.

FOX 9 says Monday's incident was the first to take place on campus grounds.

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