The suburbs revolt over crime (updated)

There have been 610 carjackings reported in Minneapolis so far in 2021 with nary a response. But it took only a handful of such crimes committed in nearby suburbs for a revolt to form.

Suddenly, Mike Freeman, the elected Hennepin County Attorney, has assigned two attorneys from his staff to prosecuting carjackings in Minneapolis and throughout the county, one prosecutor for adults and another for juveniles. It turns out that juveniles make up more than two-thirds of all carjacking cases in the county.

Edina, a Minneapolis suburb also located in Hennepin County, held a packed public meeting earlier this week on the subject of surging crime in this high-income community. The meeting on Wednesday night was so well-attended — with several hundred in the room — that the city scheduled two additional meetings on Dec. 20 to discuss increased crime in the city and surrounding communities. The first Edina meeting drew speakers and attendees from Minneapolis and other Hennepin County bedroom communities.

Edina is acting on its own to increase police patrols. It is also coordinating with nearby suburbs to pool resources. (Updated: the neighboring suburban cities of Edina, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, and Plymouth announced a joint effort to combat the recent surge in crime.)

Perhaps it’s beginning to pay off as two suspects were arrested yesterday in connection with high profile carjackings in Edina and the adjacent suburb of St. Louis Park.

For his part, Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey has announced additional efforts in the city to fight the scourge of carjackings. He outlined for the press how few of those caught for the crime are first-time offenders. It turns out that carjacking is most frequently committed (more than 75 percent) by repeat crooks.

The 610 carjackings in Minneapolis in 2021 compare to 388 last year, and to about 100 in 2019. Frey reports that 18 new police officers were sworn onto the force this week. Here’s hoping they can make a difference.