Hennepin County Attorney’s Office dedicates prosecutors to carjacking cases

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office has assigned two attorneys to specialize in carjacking cases, according to an announcement made by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

This is a direct response to the increase in carjackings in the area. One prosecutor will be assigned to juvenile cases and the other to adult cases.

An advocate will also be assigned to assist carjacking victims. This is in addition to Hennepin County staff who will provide training, information and policy development to law enforcement and communities.

"These are violent and scary cases for the victims who are carjacked, some happening in broad daylight outside the grocery store or their homes," Freeman said.

So far in 2021, 138 carjacking cases were referred to the HCAO, with 94 juvenile cases and 44 adult cases. This is an increase from the 124 total carjacking cases referred to the office in 2020. The HCAO said they charged 75% of referrals in 2021 and 87% in 2020.

Carjacking charges typically include violent crimes such as assault and aggravated robbery, Freeman’s office said. These are distinct from auto theft, which is classified as a low-level non-violent crime when the vehicle is unoccupied