Police departments warn of rising crime in Twin Cities suburbs

"I've never seen the amount of violent crime we've seen in the last two years," said Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering.

Scott Rodgerson/Unsplash

Residents in several suburban cities in the Twin Cities metro area have been on edge the past few months due to rising crime, particularly violent crime.

Last Wednesday CCX News published a report on the substantial increase of car thefts in the cities of Maple Grove, Robbinsdale, Crystal, Brooklyn Center, and Brooklyn Park.

“[Thefts] happen all over the city,” Maple Grove police commander Jon Wetternach told the outlet. “They happen in residential areas. People will leave their car unlocked with the key fob inside, or we get a lot of them at daycare centers where people are making a quick errand or run inside, and they come outside and their vehicle is missing.”

“There are a variety of reasons as to why people will steal cars. Sometimes it’s so they can get from point A to point B. The other times they use them for joyriding or committing other criminal acts,” he added.

According to the report, 13 cars have been stolen in Maple Grove over the “past few months.” And in Robbinsdale, 15 car thefts occurred from Sept. 1 to Nov. 15 — up 200% from the same period in 2020.

Another CCX News report this week covered the northwest suburbs’ violent crime rise in general, especially an alarming increase in gun violence.

“I don’t think there’s a night that the news isn’t reporting somebody is shot, or there was a shooting or some kind of critical incident isn’t happening in the metro area,” New Hope Police Chief Tim Hoyt told the outlet.

“I’ve never seen the amount of violent crime we’ve seen in the last two years,” added Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering.

Last Wednesday the Cottage Grove Police Department wrote a message to residents on Facebook asking them to call 911 “immediately” if they see suspicious behavior like people pulling on car door handles.

“Suspects are typically driving through neighborhoods, with multiple people in the suspect vehicle, looking for unlocked vehicles or running/unoccupied vehicles,” the post reads. “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.”

The Cottage Grove PD also advised residents to “always” lock their cars, keep valuables out of plain sight, and keep garage doors closed “at all times.”

Around the same time the Deephaven Police Department wrote its own Facebook post warning of the same criminal activity at night. They added that they don’t believe these criminals are from the Deephaven community.