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Police: 3 people groped by man near U of M campus

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A crime alert was issued by the University of Minnesota after three people were groped from behind by a man near campus.

The three separate incidents happened during a two-hour span Monday afternoon, and two of the victims are confirmed by police as being students at the university.

The first happened near Huron Boulevard and Fulton Street just before 1 p.m., the second nearly an hour later at Oak Street and Washington Avenue, and the third took place at 2:30 p.m. near Ontario Street and Fulton Street.

The suspect in all three cases is described as a white man in his 20s, just shy of 6 feet tall with a medium build. At the time of the incidents he was wearing "gray, wool pea-coat, blue jeans, and a red hoodie under the pea coat."

The Minnesota Daily reports campus police had searched the area, but couldn't find the suspect. The crime alert has since been emailed to faculty, staff and students.

Crime levels at the U seem to have dropped following a worrying spike in sexual assaults, muggings and armed robberies in the fall of 2013, which prompted students to tell lawmakers they no longer felt safe on campus.

New lighting and building security programs were implemented in the wake of the spike, and MPR notes crime levels slowed following the fall surge.

Anyone with information about the groping incidents is asked to call the police tip line at (612)-692-8477.

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