Police investigating 2 violent robberies at U of M

Campus police are asking for information.

Police at the University of Minnesota are asking for help solving a pair of robberies that happened just 10 minutes apart, and left two people in need of medical treatment this week. 

Both were around 5 a.m. Tuesday morning on the school's Minneapolis campus. 

The first incident

According to a crime alert from the U of M police department, four suspects approached a student outside the Civil Engineering Building "and began punching him while demanding valuables and going through his pockets."

The victim lost his property and suffered minor injuries, while the suspects were seen "running eastbound" from the scene.

Unfortunately, the student was not able to provide a detailed description of his attackers.

The second incident

Around 10 minutes later, police were forced to respond to another robbery – this one just a couple of blocks east of the first crime. 

The department says the victim in this incident was a taxi driver who was accosted by two suspects while stopped at the intersection of Oak Street and University Avenue (which is near TCF Bank Stadium). 

The pair – one of whom was wearing a mask – got into the back of the cab, demanded money, and implied they had a gun. The victim turned over his valuables and also suffered minor injuries. 

He described the suspects as "two black males between 17 and 22 years old, approximately five feet eight inches to five feet eleven inches tall with thin builds."

They were last seen running southbound on Oak Street. 

Despite the proximity of the two robberies, it's not yet clear if they're related in any way. 

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact campus police at 612-624-COPS (2677) and reference case numbers UM-17-299019 and UM-17-299024. 

Campus crime 

A report that came out last fall indicated an upward trend in the number of on-campus rapes and robberies at the university. 

The U of M police department's study, which was released in October, looked at the crime rate between 2015 and 2016, and found that "significant crimes" had increased by a few dozen since the previous report (you can look at the findings here). 

Campus safety at the U of M currently holds a "C-" grade at college factual

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