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Another campus armed robbery as increased patrols continue

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Police at the University of Minnesota sent another e-mail crime alert to the University community on Monday afternoon, the 13th alert of the fall semester.

KSTP reported that the alert came in response to an armed robbery at a campus area bus stop over the holiday weekend.

The Minnesota Daily reported that victim Zechariah Jones was outside the University Village apartments on Saturday morning when two men approached him and asked for the time. When Jones tried to respond, he said, one of the suspects showed a gun and said, “We know what time it is; it’s time for you to give us all your stuff.” One of them punched Jones in the face, he said, and the men took his wallet, phone and backpack.

Jones was not seriously injured. He said he typically feels safe in the area, and he was surprised to be the victim of a crime. “I didn’t expect it,” he said.

Officers searched the area, but did not locate the suspects. University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said the incident is uncommon because it happened in a well-populated area during the day. Miner advised students to give up their valuables in armed robberies to avoid getting hurt.

The U of M has increased patrols in the area due to the rise in crime. The robbery comes during a rise in crime that has left the campus community uneasy. Last Wednesday, two suspects attempted to kidnap a female student as she walked alone near TCF Bank Stadium. Another student was sexually assaulted after being approached by a man impersonating a police officer.

Police have said they plan to release a composite sketch of the suspect in that case later this week.

Another story in the Minnesota Daily said police say they’re seeing more out-of-town suspects coming to the campus area to prey on students. The story adds that recent incidents seem more violent, bold and aggressive than those in the past.

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