Faced with crime wave, Minnetonka mayor says Hennepin County attorney needs to prosecute more offenders

Minnetonka Mayor Brad Wiersum has joined a growing number of Minnesota officials calling on the county attorney responsible for prosecuting Minneapolis criminals to stop giving certain suspects a pass.

Left: Minnetonka Mayor Brad Wiersum; Right: Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman

(Center of the American Experiment) — The mayor of Minnetonka, Minnesota, has joined fellow suburban mayors in calling for more prosecution of non-violent property crimes.

Mayor Brad Wiersum is calling for assistance from the Hennepin County attorney, Mike Freeman, to prosecute more non-violent property crimes in an effort to get criminals off the street. The mayor reports that burglaries and car thefts are up in his West Metro community.

Freeman’s office issued a statement in response, noting the assignment of additional county prosecutors for these crimes. Freeman had earlier announced that he won’t seek reelection next year. Several candidates have entered the race.

The Minnetonka mayor’s comments echo those made by the mayor of Plymouth earlier this month. The mayor of Edina has spoken about rising crime in his community. These three cities—along with Bloomington and Eden Prairie — make up a five-city coalition formed to jointly fight surging crime in the West Metro suburbs of Minneapolis.

The immediate effects of these efforts are not year clear. On Christmas Night in Edina, a carjacking occurred at the tony Galleria shopping center. On Monday, Edina police were approached by a gunshot victim who claimed the shooting occurred outside their jurisdiction.

A more infamous crime occurred Wednesday, inside of Minneapolis’ city limits. A young clerk at a neighborhood grocery store was pistol-whipped and shot during a mid-day robbery. (Update: all four suspects in this incident, aged 14, 15, 16, and 17, have been arrested.)

Minneapolis police report 64 carjackings in December. Those who were hoping that the return of cold and snowy weather would put a damper on area crime have been disappointed, so far.


Bill Glahn

Bill Glahn is an Adjunct Policy Fellow with Center of the American Experiment.