The St. Paul Police Department is warning people, especially women, to be aware of their surroundings after a series of robberies, some violent, have taken place since late November. And they struck again Wednesday night—twice.
A video posted by the SPPD on Thursday afternoon shows a suspect violently attacking a woman and slamming her against the car. The vehicle then took off with the woman being dragged alongside the vehicle as suspects fled the scene.
Police said the video was from a robbery that occurred at about 5:20 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 at a market on the 1000 block of Johnson Parkway. The victim had just finished shopping and was putting belongings in the trunk of her car when the thief jumped out of a stolen Hyundai Elantra (2017, dark blue), grabbed her purse and tried to abscond in the car. Unfortunately, her arm got caught in the strap and she was dragged 75 yards.
Police said the suspects sneak up from behind and jump out of stolen cars. They said the suspects have struck at all hours of the day and night, in all parts of the city. Their victims are women, walking alone, typically carrying a purse or bag. Police said they’ve had at least 20 similar reports since Nov. 20.
The suspects sneak up on the victims either on foot or in stolen cars and rip the purses or bags from their shoulders, and if the victims resist, the suspects hit them and threaten them, sometimes with guns.
Police said the suspects in every case are described as black males between the ages of 15 and 30 who pull hoods from sweatshirts or hats tight over their heads and faces to conceal their identities, and the victims are women who tend to be 40 and older, alone and carrying purses or bags. Police said the suspects make their getaways on foot or in the stolen cars.
Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects or providing information on the people responsible for the crimes, and ask anyone with information to call investigators at 651-266-5650.
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