Arrest made in University of Minnesota laptop robbery

laptop keyboard
Steal me and prepare to be traced (icatus via Flickr)

A 20-year-old Crystal man has been arrested in connection with the Nov. 20 beating and robbery of a University of Minnesota foreign student.

Myron Jovan Richardson-Rivers of Crystal is charged with aggravated robbery and receiving stolen property.

According to the criminal complaint, the student -- who was apparently from China -- was walking home near Prospect Park when a man approached him, yelled at him and punched him unconscious.

The student woke up without his wallet and backpack, which contained an Apple MacBook laptop valued at $2,000.

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Later he was able to electronically trace the whereabouts of his laptop for police, who recovered the device.

University Police Chief Greg Hestness says tracing electronic devices is helpful:

"Both the investigators, and actually even our patrol officers start thinking about that the minute that someone might have a loss of an iPhone. It's not always robbery. Sometimes it's theft. So they think about that, and sometimes it has worked out for us to recover property and make arrests in the past."

But there's a debate, he said, over whether items such as iPhones should be quickly disabled once they're stolen to take away their aftermarket value:

"Maybe that's more valuable. ... But at least in terms of catching them, [tracing them] kind of helpful, actually."

Richardson-Rivers was taken to Hennepin County Jail. Bail was set at $100,000.

He is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 15.