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Updated 10:00 AM October 16, 2006




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Police Beat

September crime map>

DPS warns of check-cashing scam

University and city police have received several recent reports of fraudulent activities in which U-M students have been approached by strangers and asked to cash checks to help with emergencies. Students have reported being approached along State Street, in the Michigan Union and along South University.

Do not cash checks for strangers, even if they provide a check for deposit, police say. The checks may be returned due to insufficient funds and the account holder will be liable for the money.

Persons who are approached by a stranger and asked to cash a check are urged to call police (911) immediately and provide as complete a description of the stranger as possible. Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 763-1131.

Two sexual assaults investigated

DPS officers investigated two reports of sexual assault in September. A Bursley Hall resident reported Sept. 11 that she had been fondled by an acquaintance a few days earlier when she tried to help a hallmate back to Bursley. The complainant told police she and a friend had been approached by the suspect as they waited for a commuter bus to take them back to Bursley. The suspect appeared drunk and asked the girls for help. While riding the bus, the suspect fondled and tried to kiss the complainant. The case has been closed because the victim did not want to press charges.

In a second case, DPS officers investigated a report that a University Hospital patient was sexually assaulted in her hospital bed by her husband. The case has been submitted to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office for review.

Officer extinguishes kiosk fire

A DPS officer stomped out flames from burning papers taped to an outdoor kiosk that were set on fire by an unknown person Sept. 29. The kiosk near Alumni Memorial Hall, which provides ventilation to underground utilities, sustained a small amount of charring from the fire.

Residence hall thief arrested

A 31-year-old homeless man is in jail awaiting sentencing Oct. 25 on a parole violation and larceny charges from a U-M residence hall. Rick Ramon pleaded guilty
Oct. 4 to one count of larceny from a building. DPS has identified him as a prime suspect in five larceny incidents this year in which wallets and credit cards were reported stolen from residence hall rooms. Ramon was on parole for cocaine possession and delivering or manufacturing marijuana.

Unarmed robbery suspect arrested

A 15-year-old Ann Arbor youth faces a hearing later this month in connection with an unarmed robbery reported Aug. 20 near the Michigan Union. He is the primary suspect in an incident during which three men reportedly approached a male victim about 1:20 a.m. The youth allegedly punched the victim until he lost consciousness, stole the victim's wallet and keys, and fled the area. DPS has canceled the crime alert issued in August. The youth, who is being held in a juvenile detention facility, has been charged with unarmed robbery and assault.

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