Updated: December 01, 2021 07:15 PM
Created: December 01, 2021 09:28 AM
Maplewood police said Wednesday that leads they've followed up on have helped them identify several suspects in Black Friday thefts at Best Buy.
The "grab-and-run" incidents happened Friday night at the Best Buys in Blaine, Burnsville and Maplewood.
Police estimated between 20 and 30 people ran out of the Burnsville location with stolen merchandise; another 10-12 took part in raiding "high-value items"—including TVs, tablets and hoverboards—from the Maplewood store.
Maplewood police say they have worked with law enforcement officials throughout the metro to identify the suspects.
"This rash of brazen mass thefts through the metro created chaos, terrified shoppers and threatened public safety," Chief Brian Bierdeman, Maplewood's director of public safety, said in a statement. "We are aggressively pursuing those who organized and participated in this crime."
During a news conference Wednesday, Superintendent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Drew Evans said authorities are seeing an increase in what they call large-scale thefts across the Twin Cities.
Evans also said authorities are seeing an increase in the number of organized crime rings.
"When these types of large-scale thefts occur, the costs are passed along to all the consumers and it's a detriment to the communities in which these police departments serve and we can't tolerate this type of behavior that is occurring in our communities," Evans said, in part.
Authorities said, due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, they won't yet release photos and videos of the suspects but plan to later this week.
Authorities also said the cases will be submitted to county attorney's offices for charging decisions.
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