We’re seeing a continued increase in theft in our community: 100 Robberies and 20 Carjackings have been reported to 3rd Precinct Police so far this month. Downtown and Southwest Minneapolis have seen an increase as well. A number of these recent thefts have been reported in local grocery store parking lots, including three at the Seward Co-op Franklin Store, which we communicated about in last week’s newsletter. Victims report being approached by individuals and having their belongings stolen from their person. The Minneapolis Police Department believe they caught the group responsible for the rash of recent thefts. The co-op will provide additional video in support of their investigation as requested.
To enhance safety please be mindful of your surroundings and be aware of your belongings. Here are some prevention tips from the City of Minneapolis 3rd Precinct:
Robbery Prevention Tips:
- Do not walk alone.
- Be hyper-aware of your surroundings at all times – pay attention!
- Carry only items you need, and carry less cash.
- Be prepared to give up your cell phone and purse/wallet.
- Have keys already in your hand as you approach your car.
- Despite all our efforts, robberies may still occur! Do not argue or fight with the criminal. Do as they say. Your safety is most important!
- Be a good witness. If you must call 911, be prepared to answer many questions. How many suspects? Age, height, complexion, hair and eye color? Scars or tattoos? Weapon – what did it look like? What direction did they leave in? Vehicle description?
Carjacking Prevention Tips:
- Lock your doors while driving.
- Don’t stop for strangers who are trying to approach you or stop your car.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Always be hyper-aware of your surroundings.
- Use a tracking device.
- Never leave anything of value in your car.
- Never leave your car running unattended. Many victims were dropping off food or other deliveries.
- Memorize your license plate number. It helps towards a faster recovery.
Again, we are doing everything we can to support the individuals who experienced theft last week at the co-op. No one was hurt and police reports have been filed. At this time, no incidents have been reported at the Friendship store. We recognize that this is unsettling news as it happened on co-op property. Some of us may feel fearful or anxious, and this is understandable.
Even as we take measures to increase security and monitor safety at the co-op, we also want to make sure we are approaching this situation with nuance and compassion. There are community members who choose to sign, legally, at our stores. We also have an increasing number of neighbors who are now living in Matthew’s Park. These situations are overlapping, but not necessarily related. We want to be clear that the recent thefts were not perpetrated by people who were signing at our store. The increase in theft is happening within the context of a larger moment of crisis on our community: a pandemic, the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, racial justice uprisings, and increased poverty and homelessness. Let’s take care of one another in the short-term while continuing to work for broader systemic change.