Laptop leads Minn. police to suspect in campus robbery

The student used his Mac laptop's tracking features and discovered the computer "pinging" from a house in north Minneapolis


By Matt McKinney
Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — A laptop stolen from a University of Minnesota student in a violent robbery last month beeped its location back to its owner, eventually leading University of Minnesota police investigators to the 20-year-old man now facing robbery charges, according to a criminal complaint.

Myron Jovan Richardson-Rivers, of Crystal, Minn., faces one count of first degree aggravated robbery and one count of receiving stolen property. He was arrested Dec. 18 and charged the next day. He's being held in Hennepin County Jail on $100,000 bail pending a Jan. 15 hearing.

The victim, a Chinese international student, was coming home from the library at 3:25 a.m. on Nov. 20 when he was approached by a man near Marcy Park in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood. The man yelled a vulgarity before punching the student in the face, knocking him out. The student said he came to and discovered his laptop, wallet and backpack missing.

The student used his Mac laptop's tracking features and discovered the computer "pinging" from a house in north Minneapolis; Minneapolis police didn't have time to work on the case so University of Minnesota Police offered to take it up, according to University Chief of Police Greg Hestness.

The UMPD investigators went to the house and the residents there turned over the laptop, telling the police they got it from Richardson-Rivers, according to the criminal complaint. The victim's credit card had also been used at a nearby gas station; video surveillance from the gas station showed Richardson-Rivers paying for gas with the victim's card.

UMPD investigators found an address for Richardson-Rivers, obtained a search warrant and served it Dec. 18, arresting Richardson-Rivers and finding more evidence, according to Hestness.

Once in custody, Richardson-Rivers said someone else punched the victim but that he took the victim's backpack with the laptop inside.

A series of robberies and assaults on and near the Minneapolis campus this fall lead to a legislative hearing on campus safety, calls from students for more police and numerous crime alerts from University police.

Copyright 2013 the Star Tribune


McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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