Minneapolis experiences about 10 vehicle thefts per day

One of these crimes involved several men carrying AR-pattern firearms, which they fired into the air before stealing two vehicles from an Uptown parking lot — and the whole thing was captured on video.

Several men with AR-pattern firearms stole two vehicles from an Uptown parking lot Saturday night as a bystander recorded. (Rebecca Brannon/Twitter)

Bystander footage shows a group of people breaking into cars in Uptown Minneapolis.

An armed man is seen on video with a group of people about to steal two white sedans in a McDonald’s parking lot late Saturday night.

According to journalist Rebecca Brannon, the armed man fired his gun into the air prior to approaching one of the cars. One of his accomplices also had a gun.

Brannon said the group of people took 15 minutes to break in and start up the cars. She called 911 while recording the crimes, but the police never showed up.

“Those guys definitely saw me, but I pretended not to see or dare look their way and pretended to eat,” she tweeted. “And I’ve seen a lot and experienced a lot especially during the riots of 2020 — but I had no idea where that gun was going to be pointed … it’s not a good feeling.”

Brannon’s video was exposed to an even greater audience after independent journalist Andy Ngo reposted it on his Twitter account.

As of Dec. 7, there have been 3,684 reported car thefts in the city of Minneapolis in 2021, according to crime data from the Minneapolis Police Department. That comes out to a little over 10 per day. In the first week of December alone there have been 69 reported car thefts.

At this time in 2020, MPD had counted 3,642 car thefts. The final 2020 total ended up at 3,905.

In 2019 there were 2,873 car thefts in Minneapolis, meaning that 2020 saw a 36% increase.

Carjackings — which occur when the owner of the vehicle is present — and car thefts are also up in several Minneapolis suburbs. The problem has become such a thorn in the side of multiple police departments that they have urged residents to lock their vehicles at all times, hide all valuables from sight, and even keep their garage doors closed while at home.

In the suburb of Medina, five children aged 11-15 were recently caught joyriding in a stolen vehicle. One of the boys had stolen the car out of a family’s garage while they were unloading Christmas presents.