Liz Collin goes undercover with the Carjacking Auto Theft Team

Alpha News reporter Liz Collin posted a story this week describing the carjacking epidemic plaguing the Twin Cities metro area. Her in-depth story profiled the Ramsey County Carjacking Auto Theft Team and described the challenges faced by law enforcement to ensure the juvenile justice system holds perpetrators accountable. This piece also profiled several carjacking victims who recounted their traumatic, life-altering encounters with armed carjackers.

Once an obscure crime, authorities rarely reported carjackings before 2019. In 2021, the first year officials kept separate carjacking data, Minneapolis reported 617 incidents, while St Paul reported 101. This year, authorities are reporting about one carjacking per day. Most offenders are young adults or juveniles who use the stolen vehicles to commit additional crimes. Ramsey County identified a core group of about 20 kids behind most carjackings in and around St. Paul. Law enforcement officials are appealing to prosecutors and judges to detain those arrested for carjacking pending trial to ensure they do not continue to harm the community.