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U of M police: Student sexually assaulted by man posing as officer

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University of Minnesota police said Sunday that a female student was sexually assaulted by a man claiming to be a police officer, WCCO reported.

According to a crime alert issued by U of M police, the male suspect drove up to the woman in his SUV as she was walking just off campus near 15th and Eighth Street SE in Minneapolis about 2:15 a.m. Sunday. The man reportedly said he was a police officer, warned the woman against the dangers of walking alone and offered her a ride.

Police said after the woman got into the vehicle, the suspect locked the doors. He then drove to a remote location west of Interstate 35W, where he sexually assaulted the woman, officials said.

Officials described the suspect as a black male about 23 to 27 years old with a medium build. He also has short hair or a shaved head, and a trimmed chin-strap style beard. The suspect was also wearing a dark jacket with a badge on it, and dark pants with a security or police-style belt, according to officials.

Police said the suspect's vehicle is a dark SUV with a dark interior and a computer screen in the center console.

The Star Tribune reported that U of M police also issued a crime alert after an on-campus robbery Saturday night about 10 p.m.

Police said the victim was in the vicinity of 17th Avenue SE and Fourth Street SE when three males surrounded him. The victim said he was ordered by the suspects to hand over his backpack – which contained his laptop computer – and he complied.

The victim was unharmed, police said.

The robbery was the latest in a string of high-profile incidents on campus in recent weeks. Earlier this month, a man pulled a gun on a female student on campus as he attempted to her laptop in Anderson Hall, police said.

The suspect fled into a tunnel system between buildings. After clearing a person of interest on a security image, a second security image was issued with a new person of interest. Police are still investigating the incident.

U of M President Eric Kaler responded to the attempted armed robbery by saying the university was increasing security on campus. Kaler said the campus will add more foot and bicycle patrols, in addition to installing more security cameras.

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