New statistics from Minneapolis confirm that carjackings are indeed on the rise in the city, reflecting an ongoing national surge in the crime.
On Thursday, Mayor Jacob Frey announced at a press conference (video below) that there have been 619 carjackings in Minneapolis in 2021, compared to 388 such incidents last year — an increase of more than 57 percent.
There were dramatic spikes in other crimes as well. Frey reported that there have been 2,182 robberies (which includes carjackings) this year, compared to 1,867 in 2020. Meanwhile, gunshot wounds jumped by 19.5 percent citywide, with a "near-majority" occurring in northwest Minneapolis.
Frey also noted a "tragic trend" of crime among Minneapolis youth, saying that 75 percent of the juvenile offenders had multiple arrests on their records.
The mayor went on to lay out out a plan for dealing with the crime wave, starting with the city's young people. He called for shifting from "a political conversation to a pragmatic one" — i.e. making sure that young people "have safe places to recreate" and "have things to do coming out of a global pandemic":
"This has got to be a comprehensive and multifaceted approach, and nobody here is suggesting that we're just going to arrest our way out of this problem. But if we fail to couple compassion with accountability — and that goes from the courts, to the prosecutors, to police, to politicians — we are resigning ourselves to failed outcomes."
He also said that the city would be partnering with "a number of different jurisdictions in a mutual aid capacity," as "we are having to do more with less."
Lastly, Frey said the city will also prioritize recruitment and retention of the "best possible officers" for the Minneapolis Police Department – which has lost "around one-third" of its force to attrition over the last couple of years.
The day after Frey's press conference, two teens pleaded guilty to multiple carjackings across the Twin Cities; in a separate incident, a pair of juvenile suspects were arrested in association with violent attempted carjackings outside two Lunds & Byerlys locations. One suspect is still at large.
It's not limited to the Twin Cities. Carjackings have been on the rise across the country since the start of the pandemic. As an ABC report noted, the spike is believed to be due to the social and economic fallout of COVID-19.