Minnetonka residents urge city leaders to take action on crime

Minnetonka residents urge city leaders to take action on crime

Minnetonka residents urge city leaders to take action on crime

More than a hundred people packed Minnetonka City Hall urging city leaders to support a new law that allows judges to impose tougher sentences for suspects convicted of felony first-degree carjacking charges.

The new law gives judges the discretion to sentence a convicted carjacker up to 15 years in prison.

Minnetonka resident Craig Beason told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS his wife was carjacked in front of his son at their home in the middle of the day on Aug. 17. The Hennepin County Attorney has charged 21-year-old Romell Lewis with three felonies, including first-degree carjacking.

Beason said he hopes the first-degree carjacking charge sticks.

“It was really traumatic. I mean to get attacked in your front yard, in your driveway at 11 o’clock on a Thursday?” said Beason. “The harsher penalties are something that absolutely need to happen and we need to scare these individuals that if they do these crimes they’re going to be put in jail and for a long time.”

Minnetonka resident Barbara Benjamin told city leaders she would like to see them be proactive against crime moving forward.

“I would like to hear your plans for making sure that this community stays safe because I am here to tell ya’ I think it’s only going to get worse,” said Wiersum.

Minnetonka Mayor Brad Wiersum, told KSTP he agreed with residents and also wanted to see Lewis face the maximum penalty allowed under state law.

“And, I am thankful for the new, more aggressive law on carjackings that I am hoping that this qualifies for the type of carjacking that can be prosecuted to the full extent of that law,” said Wiersum.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s dashboard showed the office had been presented with 82 carjacking cases and so far, 50 of them have ended in criminal charges.