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Twin Cities Suburbs Collaborating To Combat 'Disturbing' Rise In Crime

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- An uptick in brazen crimes has some metro city leaders developing a plan to try and stop carjackings, robberies and home invasions.

Minneapolis resident Julie Wicklund is one of multiple victims of recent home invasions. Now, she's formed a group demanding change.

"We've been put through traumatic experiences, but we are going to do something about it," Wicklund said. "[I] thought that forming a group of victims to work together to try to get change and force some action, immediate action to get more resources and long-term action as well would be a good idea."

Minneapolis police say the majority of home invasion crimes happen between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. That's followed by weekends and evenings.

"Victims need to have a seat at the table with theses police reforms, with the judicial reforms, with the laws that are happening, with judges releasing violent criminals without holding them," Wicklund said.

Minneapolis police say investigators, prosecutors and judges are working together to not let repeat offenders slip through the cracks.

MORE: 'Don't Look At Me': Armed Robber Casually Walks Into Minneapolis Home In Broad Daylight

But these types of crimes have spread beyond just Minneapolis. St. Louis Park police said last Thursday afternoon four young men attacked a man in a Lunds & Byerlys parking lot on Park Center Drive. They hit and kicked him. He fought back and they left.

But less than two hours later, police believe the same group went to a second Lunds & Byerlys on 50th Street in Edina and attempted another carjacking.

"I was just shocked that it was going at 5 p.m. on a Thursday," Edina resident Scott Busyn said.

Busyn both lives and works next to that parking lot. He says Good Samaritans got involved and the suspects fled in a white GMC Acadia, which had been reported stolen.

"I saw the getaway car. It went right through here and recognized it was the one that had done the carjacking in St. Louis Park earlier in the day," Busyn said.

City Surveillance Cameras
(credit: CBS)

Edina Mayor James Hovland wants a metro-wide approach to solving this problem.

"Anywhere, it's disturbing to see the trend nationally," Hovland said. "The more sort of eyes you have on the street, the more cities you have working together, I think that'll help us figure out how to deal with it over time and hopefully catch some of the people involved and end this crime spree."

Both Edina and St. Louis Park are offering a $5,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the suspects. Hovland said there will be a meeting this week that will involve a number of suburbs to develop a plan to share information about these crimes. He said technology will play a major role in bringing criminals to justice.

Hovland is also asking residents to be vigilant when at home. Keeping their doors and garages locked and keeping keys, garage door openers and other valuables out of empty vehicles.

In the meantime, expect to see more law enforcement throughout the suburbs.

MORE: Edina Mayor Says City, Neighboring Towns 'Under Attack' From Carjackers, Robbers

"We've got our police department working overtime. We've got really good officers. They are really responsive and they are patrolling these areas that are more of a hot spot," Hovland said.

He believes the public safety meeting between the suburbs will include Edina, St. Louis Park, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, and others. Hovland said they would also like to include Minneapolis.

Police believe the same suspects were involved in an attempted carjacking at Bridgewater Bank on Excelsior Boulevard in St. Louis Park last week. The license plate for the stolen car they were driving is 207 VNR.

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