Dec 10, 2008

Greenway Crime Alert

This is all over the MPLS cycle blogs and MBL, but I am going to post this, too,  in case anyone missed this.  I guess I am glad the city is now paying attention, but telling us to stay of the Greenway after dark seems like surrendering the trail system to the thugs. Why don't we just move out of to Lakeville while we are at it?  

*CRIME ALERT: Recent robbery/assaults on the Midtown Greenway.*
*Attention Residents*
*Dec. 09, 2008*

*Robbery/Assaults *
*'Midtown Greenway - Hiawatha LRT Trail'*

Recently we've had series of robbery/assaults on the Midtown Greenway. They've occurred in both the 3rd and 5th Precincts at different locations along the trail. Typically the victim is surrounded and pushed off their bicycle. The attackers are taking wallets, backpacks and purses.  Many of the assaults have occurred after dark. Some have occurred during daylight hours. So far the attackers are not stealing the victim's bicycles.

The suspects have been described by their victims as groups of 2 or 3 younger males.  At this time we do not have more specific descriptions of the suspects.  It appears that more than one group of suspects may be committing these crimes.
The Minneapolis Police Department is investigating these crimes.  Police are doing extra patrol on the Greenway. The Police Dept. met with the Midtown Greenway Coalition to discuss some prevention strategies.  

*What You Can Do?*
- If you can, avoid riding or walking the Greenway after dark.
 - Whenever possible ride/walk with others, not alone. You are much safer with a group than you are alone.
 - There are "Bluelight" phones at intervals on the Greenway that will connect you directly to 911. Carry a cell phone as well. If you aren't close to a phone, you can call 911 if you need help
-Pay attention to your surroundings. If you see people ahead of you, that make you nervous or uncomfortable, exit the Greenway at the nearest ramp.
 -If you should be assaulted, try to stay calm. Give the attackers what they want. The more you resist, the more likely it is that you will be injured.
- Be sure to wear a bike helmet while riding. If will reduce you chances of injury considerably.
- When you call 911 give the operator your location. Due to recent changes in our police reporting system, the Greenway is now listed as a street (i.e. Midtown Greenway W. (Nicollet Ave. westward) and Midtown Greenway E. (East of Nicollet to the river). When you riding or walking during daylight hours take some time to familiarize yourself with the addresses of the cross streets over the trail. It will help ensure a quicker police response.

If you have questions please contact Crime Prevention Specialist Don Greeley at the 3rd Precinct - 673-3482  or
Carla Nielson, Crime Prevention Specialist 
Minneapolis Police Department, Franklin Safety Center 
(612) 871-8090

*"To Protect With Courage"**" 
*To Serve With Compassion*"*

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