Carjacking uptick spreads across the metro area and surrounding suburbs


Courtesy of Fox9

Multiple carjacking attempts at the St. Louis Park Lunds & Byerlys.

As common as it is to get in your car, pull out your phone, and scroll through social media before you start driving, it is not smart. The lack of awareness can creep up on you, especially with the dangerous uptick in the Twin Cities: carjackings.

A recent surge in carjackings around the metro area has adults and children of all ages on their toes. Carjackers are not only targeting the old and the weak, but strong capable people. Not only are these carjackings taking place in some of the most public places such as grocery stores, they are happening in broad daylight. Cities like Edina, Roseville, Woodbury, and St. Louis Park have all recently reported cases of carjackings, some more extreme than others.

Last Thursday, three were injured and one hospitalized outside of the Edina Lunds & Byerlys at about 5 p.m. Similarly, in the Lunds & Byerlys in St. Louis Park a man was jostled out of his car and luckily sustained only minor injuries. These two attacks are thought to be done by the same group of people with the same motive. A $5,000 reward is being offered by the City Police Department to anyone who can provide sufficient information regarding the attacks, in hopes of arresting the people responsible.

In a recent situation, a younger lady was attacked just steps away from the Lunds & Byerlys parking lot in Edina. No information such as her name or age was given in order to protect this victim’s identity, however, she was willing to speak out in order to protect others in the community and promote self awareness. Her battle scars show the seriousness of the situation. She came away with a swollen black eye, a bruised skull, and a deep cut on her ear. Luckily, community members heard her screaming for help and blocked her vehicle, which the carjacker was in control of at the time. In an interview with Kare 11 the day after the incident, the victim opened up and shared her take on the attack. “One of the most disturbing things about this attack was just the sheer boldness of these carjackers,” the victim said.

In another instance, on Saturday, December 12, Melanie McCall, a woman from the Linden Hills neighborhood was held at gunpoint during a carjacking attack which took place in her own garage. Just seconds after pulling in, she checked her phone and was spooked by two men, one of whom was holding a gun to her window. The two men took her purse, phone, and two vehicles and threatened to kill her if she even glanced at them. Police believe these men could be associated with the nearby attack at the Lunds & Byerlys location. As shaken up as she is, she hopes her story and recent interview with Kare 11 will spark change regarding this prominent issue. “My biggest hope is that enough of a light gets shined on this that we all start working toward some real substantive change,” McCall said.

My biggest hope is that enough of a light gets shined on this that we all start working toward some real substantive change

— McCall

From public carjackings to places where you should feel most safe like your house, these carjackers are showing fearless behavior by sneaking up on people when least expected. The uptick in cases is an important issue that needs to be addressed by law enforcement as well as citizens of these targeted communities. Ultimately, a midday trip to the grocery store should not result in a beating and a feeling of insecurity.