Children not old enough to possess a driver’s license have been caught stealing cars, even in Minnesota.
According to a crime alert from the Medina Police Department, five children aged 11-15 were recently involved in a pursuit that ended in Eden Prairie. One of the juveniles, a male, had stolen the vehicle from a family who had just arrived home to unload Christmas gifts.
Medina residents said that the boy had been riding in a car suspiciously driving around the neighborhood before he got out and stole the vehicle from the family’s garage.
News of the astonishing crime came around the time Chicago police announced the capture of an 11-year-old “prolific carjacker.”
The Medina Police Department said this incident was one of a “few” recent incidents in which thieves stole cars in residential areas.
“The thieves are looking for unlocked vehicles in driveways and utilizing the garage door remotes to get into garages and steal vehicles as it seems most people leave their keys inside the vehicle when it is parked in the garage,” according to the crime alert. “These are typical crimes of opportunity.”
Last month, five kids between the ages of 13-15 were arrested after holding a woman at gunpoint in Roseville and stealing her car.
Like other police departments in the Twin Cities area, the Medina PD is advising residents to be on the lookout for suspicious activity and take precautions to prevent themselves from becoming the next victims of car theft.
On Nov. 17, the Cottage Grove Police Department put out a similar warning.
“Suspects are typically driving through neighborhoods, with multiple people in the suspect vehicle, looking for unlocked vehicles or running/unoccupied vehicles,” reads the statement. “Frequently one or two passengers will exit the suspect vehicle and pull handles on parked vehicles. Oftentimes they obscure their identities by wearing hoodies and masks. These are frequently occurring during the daytime.”
Carjackings are affecting both the Twin Cities and their suburbs. Minneapolis has bore the brunt of skyrocketing carjackings since the beginning of 2020, though typically safe suburbs have also been increasingly targeted in 2021.