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Updated 5:00 PM October 25, 2005




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DPS issues crime alert, reward offer

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) last week issued a crime alert regarding a continuing series of unarmed robberies reported near campus and a reward offer for information pertaining to laptop computer thefts.

Three students reported to the Ann Arbor Police that they had been assaulted and robbed in individual incidents between 11:15 p.m. Oct. 17 and 2 a.m. Oct. 18. In each case, a lone male pedestrian reported he had been approached by a group of four to five males, assaulted and robbed of his wallet and/or cash. No weapon was displayed in any incident. These reports follow a series of similar incidents reported in recent months on property near the edge of campus.

DPS officials suggest that people not walk alone, especially at night, and call 911 immediately any time they feel threatened.

DPS also issued a security bulletin Oct. 20 with a reward offer of up to $500 cash for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of individuals responsible for a recent rash of laptop computer thefts on campus.

During the month of September, approximately 15 laptop computer thefts were reported, 11 in the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library or Shapiro Undergraduate Library. Most of the thefts occurred when the laptops were left unattended.

"Though we don't have specific evidence, we are working on the premise that these crimes may have been committed by the same person or group of people as the crimes are so similar," says Bill Bess, DPS director. "Most of the thefts have been crimes of opportunity. Our best advice is to be certain everyone removes these crime opportunities by taking their laptops with them whenever they leave their study areas or offices."

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call DPS at (734) 763-1131 or U-M's Anonymous Tip-Line at (800) 863-1355.

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