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Police investigating 4th robbery near U of M campus, may be linked to others

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A string of robberies around the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus continues, with a fourth student reporting their valuables were stolen at gunpoint over the weekend.

The latest incident, like the three others that came before it, involved two suspects approaching students in public and flashing a gun, demanding the surrender of phones, wallets and other valuables, according to Minneapolis police.

A Facebook update from the department says the victim was walking over the pedestrian bridge that crosses Interstate 35-W in the vicinity of 5th St. SE and 9th St. SE when he was approached by two males – both described as black and between 20 and 25 years old – and robbed.

The victim reported having a gun held on him as his valuables were taken, and then ordered to walk east off the bridge while the suspects fled westward, police say.

The early Saturday morning robbery, according to the update, "is possibly linked" to other similar crimes in the area.

This series of holdups began on Jan. 19, which happened to be the first day of the spring semester, when a victim was robbed by two suspects near the Pillsbury Court Apartments.

The second incident came a day later, when a suspect was robbed near Eight Street SE and 14th Avenue SE. This crime was similar to the latest holdup, in that it happened on a footbridge and involved two males of a similar description to the suspects from the Jan. 23 mugging.

The third happened just hours later in the early morning hours of Jan. 21. The victim in this case was attacked while entering the vestibule of a building at The Bridges Apartments (930 University Ave. SE).

Police are asking anyone with information on these crimes to call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS). Any tips leading to an arrest and conviction are "eligible for a monetary reward."

Police say people walking alone and unaware – with headphones in, for example, or staring at a phone – are easier targets for such attacks.

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