Updated: 11/26/2013 11:18 PM
Created: 11/25/2013 3:12 PM KSTP.com
By: Megan Stewart
The Anoka County Sheriff's Office believes a man who impersonated a police officer and sexually assaulted a University of Minnesota student is connected to a similar incident in Fridley.
According to the Anoka County Sheriff's Office, a woman from Minneapolis was walking to her car on the 6400 block of Fifth Street in Fridley at 1 p.m. Saturday when she was approached by a man claiming to be a police officer.
Authorities say he kidnapped her and then later sexually assaulted her before letting her go.
She described the suspect as a black man around 6-feet tall with a thin beard who was driving a smaller, dark colored SUV. He was wearing a dark cap, dark sweatshirt, dark sunglasses and blue jeans.
The assault in Fridley took place approximately 12 hours before a University of Minnesota student was sexually assaulted by someone claiming to be a police officer.
The description the woman assaulted in Fridley provided of the man and SUV matched the same description of the University of Minnesota incident. The Anoka County Sheriff's Office said they believe the two crimes are "most likely related."
Anyone with information on the incident in Fridley should call the Anoka County Sheriff's Office at (612) 427-1212. The case is being investigated by the Fridley Police Department.
In the incident of the U of M student being assaulted, a woman was walking alone off-campus near the intersection of 15th Avenue Southeast and Eighth Street Southeast when she was approached by a man in an SUV, according to the crime alert. The man slowed down to talk to her. He identified himself as a police officer and was wearing a dark colored jacket with a badge on it, dark pants, and a "security or police style duty belt."
According to the crime alert, the suspect warned the woman about walking alone. He then offered her a ride, which she accepted.
When she got into the SUV, the suspect locked the doors. He then drove to a remote location and sexually assaulted the woman, according to the crime alert.
A crime alert was sent to students and staff. The U of M started increasing patrols over the weekend after a recent uptick in crime.
Anyone with information on the incident near the U of M is asked to call the Minneapolis Police Tip Line at 612-692-8477 and reference case number MP-13-391636.