More and more Twin Cities suburbs are seeing regular car theft crimes, with Golden Valley and Plymouth together experiencing four carjackings in 10 days this month, one of which targeted a teenage girl.
Just before 10 p.m. on May 25, two male suspects with handguns approached an 18-year-old female in a Target parking lot in Plymouth and stole her car.
The victim was not injured, and her car was later found empty in a north Minneapolis neighborhood, although no arrests have been made.
The Golden Valley Police Department is investigating its three carjackings, two of which have similar suspect descriptions.
On May 16 at around 11 p.m., a man was walking to his car when an armed black male in a dark ski mask pointed a gun at the victim and demanded that he hand over his keys. The victim attempted to run, was chased and fell down, and found himself at gunpoint again, at which point the suspect took his keys and fled in the victim’s car.
On May 19 just after 9 p.m., a male was confronted after pulling into his own driveway by a black man in a ski mask with a gun; the suspect took the victim’s cellphone and keys and took off in the car.
The cars stolen in Golden Valley on May 16 and May 19 were both black BMWs.
“While both of these incidents appear to be isolated and random events, the public needs to be more aware of their surroundings at all times and try to limit the amount of cash or other personal items within your vehicles,” said Golden Valley Police Chief Virgil Green in a statement from the city.
Green also encouraged citizens to keep cellphones and other technology active, which can better help officers track down stolen property.
The third carjacking in Golden Valley happened early May 25 in an apartment parking lot. The suspects, two black males in ski masks, closed in on a 2013 Jeep Patriot in which a female driver and a passenger were sitting. The suspects forced the victims to give up the car “and everything in it,” reads a statement from the city.
None of the victims in these four incidents were injured during the crimes.
“These incidents are concerning, and we want to remind all residents to be aware of their surroundings and never attempt to fight with these suspects,” Green said.
Plymouth Public Safety Director Erik Fadden noted that crimes like these are “unusual” in Plymouth but are a “good reminder that crime can happen anywhere.”
Fadden also encouraged citizens to always be attentive to their surroundings.
Carjackings have become a commonplace crime in the Twin Cities, with the numbers in April up 20% when comparing year-over-year data for Minneapolis.
Carjacking victims sat down with Alpha News reporter Liz Collin earlier this year to share their feelings of paranoia and fear they say haven’t left since they became victims.