Minneapolis police chief asks for help after uptick in violent carjacking concerns | KSTP.com

Minneapolis police chief asks for help after uptick in violent carjacking concerns

Alex Jokich
Updated: November 10, 2020 06:48 PM
Created: November 10, 2020 06:24 PM

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo has asked the city council for outside help in an effort to combat an uptick in violent crimes.

"I'm saying we need more resources today and right now," said Arradondo during a meeting Tuesday.

The chief would like to reinstate a Joint Enforcement Team (JET) made up of Minnesota State Patrol, Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and Metro Transit. The JET was used several years ago to deal with crime hotspots in north Minneapolis and the chief wants to bring it back together due to its 'past success,' according to an MPD spokesperson.

"Our resources are hemorrhaging, our city is bleeding at this moment and I'm trying to do all I can to stop that bleeding," said Arradondo to city councilmembers.

Arradondo referenced 'unprecedented' violent crimes in the city, which includes a recent uptick in carjackings. The department said there had been 76 carjackings in Minneapolis in the last month and a half.

"It's really just become more brazen," said MPD's Director of Police Information John Elder.

Elder said unsuspecting residents are getting violently forced from their cars, sometimes beaten or threatened with a weapon.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS was at the scene of a crash involving a stolen car near the University of Minnesota Monday. Elder said the suspect took off at a high rate of speed, nearly hitting an officer on foot and ultimately crashing into an occupied MPD squad car. Elder said the suspects were 13 and 17 years old and now face charges of assault, aggravated robbery and fleeing police.

In another carjacking incident Monday, a white pickup truck was stolen at knifepoint and led police on two chases, hitting multiple cars along the way. A 20-year-old man was later arrested in north Minneapolis.

According to Minneapolis Police Department data, there have been 3,335 automobile thefts so far in 2020, which marks a nearly 40% increase from last year and approximately an 80% increase from the 10-year average.

"Our residents deserve better," Elder said. "We are attempting to really shut this down. Concentrated, focused enforcement is really important."

The Minneapolis Police Department put out a police advisory to residents, with these recommendations on how to avoid falling victim: 

  • Do not leave your keys/key fobs in your car.
  • Do not leave your car idling, even if it is just for a couple of minutes.
  • Remember, the bad guys are watching you and looking for the right opportunity to strike.
  • Be aware of your surroundings always, especially 50 feet around you.
  • Notice any suspicious behavior of individuals or groups within that zone.
  • Do not put yourself in harm's way.
  • If you are at a stop sign/light, leave enough space between you and other cars to take evasive action if someone comes up to your car and tries to get in.
  • What is your plan? How will you react based on certain behavior?

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