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Mpls. Cops Issue Alert After Rash Of Downtown Muggings

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - Four muggings were reported in downtown Minneapolis between Aug. 12 and Aug. 19, and police are still searching for the people responsible.

Minneapolis Police put out an alert to warn residents and visitors in downtown about the string of robberies.

City resident Mandella Henderson says the muggings are unsettling to think about.

"It is disturbing. It's disturbing for all of us because, you know, you lose your peace of mind," Henderson said.

The robbers target people walking alone, and take wallets, purses and cell phones. Some victims have been assaulted.

Resident Fiona Duncan says she finds strength in numbers while out at night.

"I definitely try and buddy-up with someone so I'm not walking alone at night so at least we can team up," Duncan said.

Justin Kaler, operations supervisor of the Downtown Improvement District, says if you can't buddy up, one of their ambassadors can walk with you.

"If someone doesn't feel safe getting off their shift from work, we'll over our services to escort them you know wherever they need to go," Kaler said.

A look at the crime statistics for Minneapolis neighborhoods shows West Downtown, which include much of Hennepin Avenue, has the highest rate of robberies compared to any other area: 22 robberies and 16 aggravated assaults in July alone, and 219 total crimes so far this year.

In the neighborhoods surrounding the University of Minnesota, only two robberies were reported in July. And of the 13 crimes reported so far in 2013, there were no assaults.

Police say the suspects are a group of African-American males in their late teens or early 20s. If you see anything suspicious, you should call 911.

Minneapolis Police also urge people to watch their alcohol intake, which can decrease awareness of surroundings – whether on the street or in a bar or restaurant.

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