MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis Police Department and Hennepin County Sheriff's Office have announced that a joint law enforcement operation has resulted in more than 40 felony arrests connected to a recent string of carjackings in the city of Minneapolis.
Several of the stolen vehicles were also recovered in the operation.
"These past several weeks, our teams have been operating in a joint enforcement detail specifically to reduce violent crime and carjackings," Chief Medaria Arradondo said in a Tuesday afternoon news conference.
Minneapolis police have reported 391 carjackings so far in 2020, an increase of about 320% year-to-date in the city. According to investigators, the suspects typically approached victims in their vehicles to start a conversation, then proceed to steal purses, phones, wallets, and vehicles, sometimes at gunpoint.
"This has impacted our communities far too often," the chief said.
"Our Violent Offender Task Force (VOTF) went out there and targeted these bad, bad people who are causing havoc on the city of Minneapolis," Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said.
The joint law enforcement effort also included assistance from a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter, which flew over some Minneapolis neighborhoods for portions of three days last week. The aerial assistance also led to nine additional arrests and the confiscation of a pipe bomb, according to police.
Chief Arradondo and Sheriff Hutchinson both praised the joint efforts of their departments, particularly as MPD has faced staffing challenges in recent months.
"We have both made a committed effort. We are not going to turn our backs on our residents, our businesses, our visitors. We are going to be there," Arradondo said. "This work will continue."