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One man arrested in connection to violent Minnetonka carjacking

Romell Lewis was charged with first-degree carjacking, aggravated robbery and burglary after his alleged involvement in a carjacking that occurred on Aug. 17.

MINNETONKA, Minn. — *Editor's note: The above video first aired Monday, Sept. 18, 2023.

A 21-year-old man was arrested Tuesday morning in connection with a violent carjacking last month in Minnetonka that was caught on camera.

Romell Lewis was charged with first-degree carjacking, aggravated robbery and burglary after his alleged involvement in a carjacking that occurred in a family's driveway on Aug. 17. The Minnetonka Police Department partnered with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office Carjacking and Auto Theft team to track and arrest Lewis at around 11:45 a.m. Tuesday in St. Paul.

According to charging documents, Lewis is one of four suspects involved in a carjacking that occurred on the morning of Aug. 17. A warrant says the woman returned home around 10:50 a.m. and carried groceries into her Minnetonka home when she noticed several males wearing hoodies run up the driveway toward her SUV. While inside the home, the complaint says the woman "looked out the window and observed a grayish sedan occupied by multiple males pull up in front of her home." She then went out to the garage and saw a man trying to start her husband's vehicle. 

When the vehicle wouldn't start, the warrant says the man ran back to the sedan. Two other men jumped out to of the sedan, attacked the woman and dragged her away from the vehicle. Prosecutors say the woman yelled out to her 13-year-old son to call the police. The son exited the house with the phone in his hand when one of the suspects shoved the 13-year-old to the ground and attempted to take the phone, according to court documents.

Prosecutors say one of the suspects started dragging the teen while attempting to take the phone. During the assault, another suspect jumped in the woman's SUV and drove away. The sedan also sped off, nearly hitting the woman, according to the warrant.

Police located the suspects and began a pursuit of the stolen SUV and the sedan, however, the pursuit was terminated after officials say the two vehicles were fleeing at a high speed and weaving in and out of oncoming traffic. Police tracked the stolen vehicle to a Walgreens in Edina about 30 minutes after the assault, but when officers arrived, the suspects fled. A surveillance camera from the Walgreens showed the two vehicles arriving in the parking lot, and later captured a closeup of man officials believe to be Lewis. Officers searched Lewis' social media and found multiple pictures of him wearing a distinctive hoodie that was also seen in video of the attack that was captured on a neighbor's security camera.

Community members packed Monday night's Minnetonka City Council meeting to discuss how to prosecute the crime.

Lewis is currently being held in Hennepin County on $200,000 bail. Police say they're still searching for three teens connected to the carjacking.

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