Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo has issued a statement in response to a spike in robberies and carjackings in two areas of the city.
Crime alerts have been issued in recent days in the 3rd Precinct, covering south Minneapolis, and the 5th Precinct, covering the southwest of the city.
In the 3rd Precinct, police note there has been an increase in robberies and carjackings, with cellphones, purses, and vehicles among the targets for offenders.
In July alone, 100 robberies and 20 carjackings have been reported to the 3rd Precinct.
"Some victims have been maced, dragged, assaulted, and some threatened with a gun," an alert said. "Most of these crimes have occurred north of 42nd St E."
Similar incidents have been happening in the 5th Precinct, again with purses, cellphones and vehicles targeted.
"The cases have primarily involved physical force, although a gun has been implied or seen in several incidents," an alert from the 5th Precinct said.
"Suspects have approached victims on the sidewalk or in parking lots, then fled in a waiting vehicle – often one that was stolen in a prior incident. These incidents are happening during daytime and evening hours."
In response, Arradondo says the department has "redeployed internal resources and intelligence gathering" to target the rise in crime in these areas.
"We take all crime seriously and are working with the Precinct Inspectors as well as the Violent Crimes Investigative Division to address this," he said.
Tips for residents
MPD has issued a series of tips for residents to limit their risk of robbery:
- Do not walk alone
- Be hyper-aware of your surroundings at all times - pay attention!
- Carry only items you need, and carry less cash
- Be prepared to give up your cell phone and purse/wallet
- Have keys already in your hand as you approach your car
- Despite all our efforts, robberies may still occur! Do not argue or fight with the criminal Do as they say. Your safety is most important!
- Be a good witness. When you call 911, be prepared to answer many questions. How many suspects? Age, height, complexion, hair and eye color? Scars or tattoos? Weapon- what did it look like? What direction did they leave in? Vehicle description?
And for carjacking:
- Lock your doors while driving
- Don’t stop for strangers who are trying to approach you or stop your car
- Park in well-lit areas
- Always be hyper-aware of your surroundings
- Use a tracking device
- Never leave anything of value in your car
- Never leave your car running unattended. Many victims were dropping off food or other deliveries.
- Memorize your License Plate number. It helps towards a faster recovery.