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Woman Averts Attempted Carjacking In Southwest Minneapolis As Similar Crimes Surge In The City

MINNEAPOLIS ( WCCO) -- It looked like any normal Monday morning on a quiet street in southwest Minneapolis. But just hours earlier, sounds of a car horn blared down the block and an attempted carjacking was stopped in its tracks.

Pat Berg, 79, said her 75-year-old sister, Katie, had just dropped her off at her house in the Kingfield neighborhood when, while driving away, Katie was forced to pull over by individuals in a white sedan who tried to get her out of her car. Instead, Berg said her sister locked the doors, slammed on her car's horn, called 911 and the attackers fled on foot.

"I ran up there so fast," Berg said, recalling the incident, which happened just feet from her house. "Katie was cool as cucumber. I was a nervous wreck."

A neighbor's doorbell camera captured the whole scene on video—the encounter lasted less than three minutes.

A spokesman for Minneapolis police said the preliminary investigation led to two arrests in connection to the incident and one other person of interest has been identified.

It's yet another story of the same crime that's happened 518 times this year. Police said there were 21 reports over this past weekend alone. Two weeks ago, there was a string of carjackings within hours of each other.

Neighbors who declined to be on camera said they heard the din of the car horn. One woman described the situation as "scary."

Berg said there was a carjacking close by in her neighborhood over the summer. The incidents have sparked conversations about safety among her and her friends who frequent the YMCA, where she and her sister had just come from before the attempted theft Monday morning.

"The tragedy is that it is happening throughout the city," Berg said. "We talk about it all the time and we look at what safety features are for us because we are older. And they're either getting the very young or the very old."

Most of the carjackings reported over the weekend occurred in South Minneapolis and nearly all of the victims were alone, said officer Garrett Parten, the police department's spokesman, in an email. Half the incidents happened in the evening between 7 p.m. and midnight. Victims range in age from 16 to 62.

Of the more than 500 carjackings so far this year, Minneapolis police said there were 94 in October. This year has outpaced the last two years: 2020 saw 401 carjackings and 2019 saw 104.

The thefts have prompted a 15% increase in enrollment in self-defense classes at one Minneapolis training school.

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