Police searching for suspect in connection to violent carjacking in Burnsville

Burnsville police are investigating a violent carjacking that happened in a Target parking lot Monday morning.

Becky Smith said a man approached her and pointed a gun at her, demanding her purse and vehicle.

"Just shock. It’s like your worst nightmare," Smith said. "It’s just so brazen. It’s scary."

Smith said she had just gotten out of her Jeep to run a quick errand at the Burnsville Target.

"Next thing you know, I have a guy coming up from behind with a gun pointed right at me," Smith said. "In broad daylight, in Burnsville of all places."

Smith said the man tried to force his way into the Jeep and physically attacked her for several minutes.

"I have a bruise on this arm from the struggle," Smith explained. "And I have flashbacks, just seeing a gun pointed at you, not knowing, is it a toy? Is it loaded? Is this really happening to me?"

Smith believes there was only one other person in that part of the parking lot at the time who witnessed the encounter but did not try to help.

Burnsville Police Department confirmed they are still looking for the suspect, who Smith described as a white man, about 5’10" with tattoos on his face and body.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS found auto thefts are on the rise in many parts of the metro. Burnsville’s latest crime data showed a 34% increase in auto thefts from the same time period last year. Minneapolis is reporting a 45% spike and St. Paul is seeing a 12% increase, year to date, compared to 2019.

Burnsville’s data also showed aggravated assaults are up 77% from last year.

"This violence and lawlessness has got to stop, period," Smith said. "If it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody."

Police are urging you to be aware of your surroundings and call 911 if you see anything suspicious.

They are also asking the public to be on the lookout for Smith’s stolen vehicle, which is a 2013 silver Jeep Rubicon, with noticeable stickers on the rear window, including a Sioux sticker, Goldy Gopher sticker, paw prints, a pug, "this is how I roll" and "if you see a Jeep, don’t wave."

If anyone sees the vehicle, they are asked to call The Burnsville Police Department. Smith said her credit card transactions show it has been in Little Canada, Woodbury and St. Paul.