Safety advisory: Public Safety officers detain a swindle suspect St. Thomas Newsroom October 14, 2003 On Oct. 9 at approximately 8:30 p.m., Public Safety officers assisted a UST student who reportedly was the victim of an off-campus theft by swindle earlier in the day. The UST student told Public Safety that he believed the suspect was en route to the St. Paul campus to attempt to swindle additional money from him. About 10 minutes later, the suspect arrived on university property.After stopping and identifying the suspect, he became disorderly, threatened to assault responding Public Safety officers, and then ran. Public Safety caught the suspect, detained him, and turned him over to the St. Paul Police Department. The police later issued the suspect a citation for disorderly conduct.Public Safety has received several inquiries from concerned students and parents questioning if this arrest is related to the recently reported sexual assaults that have been detailed in previous Public Safety alerts. The suspect and incident noted in this advisory are not related to the sexual assaults.Crime prevention tips: Never give money to strangers, even upon receiving a promise for repayment.It is a common scam for criminals to entice unsuspecting victims into exchanging cash for fraudulent or forged checks and money orders. Unfortunately, after the exchange has been made and the suspect leaves, the victim is left holding a worthless document.A stranger asking for money often puts people in a quandary. People find it difficult to turn down someone asking for money for clothes, medication, food for their children, or to have their vehicle removed from an impound lot. People are also concerned that the person may be lying or that a gift of money will only enable the person.What needs to be remembered is that, in most cases, money is not the answer. Rather than offering money, direct the person to a social service agency or organization. These groups are able to work with the individual to provide more than a short-term solution.Public Safety urges you to be proactive and alert. You can help prevent crime!