MINNEAPOLIS - A crime alert was sent out to students at the University of Minnesota after a series of robberies and assaults over the weekend.
"Most appear to be related," said Deputy Chief Charles Miner.
Four ofthoserobberies werein the span of just a couple of hours early Sunday morning. They happened between 1 and 4:45 a.m. The robberies occurred both on campus and just off campus near areas of student housing.
The four on Sunday were in addition to some six other similar crimes in the last two months and police are taking notice.
"Our officers will be out, particularly this weekend, in extra force. We'll have extra officers working, looking for this specific pattern. They'll be teaming up with Minneapolis police and Metro Transit police," said Miner.
Crimes like this are common this time of year due to the warm weather and the influx of students back on campus, but it's how these robberies are taking place that is different.
"Historically we have not had situations where people have been robbed in groups of people. This has been very unique. It's been both very large groups of suspects and very large groups of victims," he said.
In some cases, there have been up to five or six suspects reported and they are not afraid to go after people walking in groups. Many of the suspect descriptions are similar from case to case, police said.
Miner is quick to point out that they have made some progress in these cases. Four arrests have been made in the last few weeks.
He also says campus is still a very safe place to be. Students just need a reminder to be aware of their surroundings, don't text or listen to music while walking at night. Use the free escort service instead of walking alone, and if you're approached by someone who wants your stuff, just give it up.
"In situations where it's just yourproperty at stake, we encourage you to give up your property. It's not worth a physical assault just because of something like that," said Miner.