St. Paul Lowertown businesses, residents want city leaders to fix crime problems

Community members working to fight crime in St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood

Community members working to fight crime in St. Paul's Lowertown neighborhood

Some businesses and residents in St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that crime and open drug use continue to hurt business and make things unsafe, especially at night.

The Lost Fox Restaurant has been burglarized more than four times since opening in early 2022 and its owner, Annie Rose, told KSTP things since the last burglary in April have not gotten much better.

“We’ve had two more attempted burglaries since then. Both times the alarms went off and we were able to come and the cops were able to come,” said Rose. “More cameras, more motion detectors, glass breaking, more things on the inside. Lights. We’ve had to leave lights on.”

Rose said people who are causing trouble for her business are getting more threatening as well. Rose said just a few days ago, she asked a belligerent customer to leave and she ended up injured.

“I told him that the other day, and he got aggressive and he pushed the door in my face and I got stitches from that,” Rose said.

Lynn Murphy said she moved to Lowertown in 2019 and things have become, in her opinion, less safe.

“I have experienced a lot of open-air drug usage going on. We’ve been hearing gunshots going off. I have been spit on my face, I have been attacked down here,” said Murphy. “You walk anywhere down here after 6 or 7 p.m. at night, it becomes like a danger zone.”

Rose and Murphy, and other business owners, said St. Paul Police have stepped up patrols and their increased presence has helped.

City records show through the first seven months of this year compared to the same time period in 2022, crime has gone down overall.

Burglaries and sexual assaults are up, but robberies and aggravated assaults are down through July of this year.

KSTP reached out to City Council member Rebecca Noecker for comment but she has not yet responded. Noecker, along with St. Paul Police, state lawmakers who represent St. Paul and Metro Transit Police Chief, Ernest Morales III, will host a town hall meeting Monday at 5 p.m. at the Union Station Depot.