A 20-year-old suspect has been charged with carjacking and using that stolen vehicle to rob several Minneapolis residents in little more than one hour.
Brandon L. Rock, of St. Paul, has been charged in Hennepin County District Court with five counts of first-degree aggravated robbery and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon.
Rock was one of 41 people arrested by authorities during a three-day "carjacking crackdown" by Minneapolis police, the Minnesota State Patrol and Hennepin County Sheriff's Office earlier this month, Minneapolis police spokesperson John Elder said.
Including arrests from that operation, there have been 391 reported carjackings, according to MPD — which marks a 320% increase from 2019.
According to the criminal complaint:
At 7 a.m. the morning after Thanksgiving, Rock and an "unidentified juvenile male" were near the 1300 block of SE. 7th Street when they approached a man as he was getting into his car. Rock pointed a handgun at the man, ordering him to hand over his wallet, cellphone and car keys. After robbing him of his items, Rock and the young accomplice fled in the man's car.
Just about 15 minutes later, near E. Lake Street and S. 21st Avenue, Rock held up a man at gunpoint and robbed him of his wallet and jacket.
At 7:50 a.m., in the 300 Block of Elmwood Place in Tangletown, Rock drove up to a woman who was sitting in her vehicle. With his gun, Rock ordered her to get out of the vehicle and hand over her purse. She refused, and Rock fired several shots at her vehicle as she drove away.
Another 10 minutes later, a man was using his cell phone in his car near W. 38th Street and S. Dupont Avenue when Rock used his handgun to tap on the driver's side window. After robbing the man of his phone, wallet and car keys, the pair sat in the man's vehicle for a moment — then fled in the first victim's vehicle. The man told police "his vehicle is a stick shift, and he did not believe either [suspect] knew how to operate the vehicle."
Around 8:10 a.m., the pair drove up to a man walking in the 2900 block of S. Pleasant Avenue. They robbed him at gunpoint, collecting $1,300 and his cellphone before fleeing in the stolen car.
Minneapolis police spotted the vehicle at about 8:20 a.m. and attempted to pull it over. They sped off, but police then recovered it unoccupied in the 2300 block of S. Pillsbury Avenue.
Officers eventually arrested Rock at a Minneapolis residence in the 2400 block of Ogema Place, where they recovered stolen items and a handgun.
Rock also has charges pending against him alleging he fled police in a stolen vehicle in connection with receiving stolen property in Edina in late July.
He remains jailed in lieu of a $100,000 bail ahead of a Jan. 15 court hearing.