Minnesota lawmaker wants carjackings charged as felonies

There’s a renewed push at the Minnesota Capitol to impose tougher penalties for carjacking crimes.

Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he intends to introduce a public safety bill next week that would make carjacking a felony with strong penalties.

“There’s only one way to stop carjackings, and that’s to have a penalty and then an enforcement mechanism to make it work,” Limmer said. “They treat it as a robbery, and this bill would remove that portion, and we would declare carjacking as a separate crime and, as a result, it needs a separate penalty.”

Limmer said the skyrocketing number of carjackings in 2021 and 2022 has created a need to classify carjackings as a separate offense.

“We think there should be a mandatory minimum and you can characterize it as either a two-year term, four-year, or six-year prison term, but with an added dimension of five extra years,” Limmer said.

The Minnesota House DFL introduced a $300 million dollar public safety bill in late January, and it contains provisions for crime prevention and intervention programs.