HENNEPIN COUNTY, Minn. — Editor's note: The above video was originally published on Dec. 18, 2021.
The Hennepin County Attorney's Office has brought formal charges Monday against three Minneapolis teens accused of carjackings across Edina and St. Louis Park amid a surge in carjacking-related incidents across the Twin Cities metro throughout the pandemic.
KARE 11 is not naming the juveniles who range in age from 16 to 17 years of age.
Two of the teens - a 16 and a 17 year old - were charged with five counts of first-degree aggravated robbery, for their involvement in crimes committed in Edina and St. Louis Park.
A third teen, 16, was charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated robbery for a crime committed in St. Louis Park.
The Attorney's Office says prosecutors are seeking to try at least two of the teens as adults.
The charges stem from acts allegedly committed by the defendants, when they acted together on Dec. 9 to target victims at two grocery stores, one each within St. Louis Park and Edina.
In both incidents, the Attorney's Office says the defendants attempted to gain control of victims' vehicles, through threats and use of force. In one case, the defendants failed to violently wrest control of a vehicle away from a male victim after a good Samaritan stepped in. Authorities say both the good Samaritan and the original male victim were injured during the confrontation - the latter being injured by a drill that one defendant pretended was a gun.
In another case, a female victim was aided by bystanders, who tried to prevent the defendants from absconding with her vehicle - one of whom was bitten by one of the defendants during the encounter.
Authorities say one of the defendants in temporary control of the vehicle attempted to flee, driving over the leg of one good Samaritan, and clipping him in the head with an open car door. The female owner of the vehicle was then dragged across a parking lot, entangled within her own seatbelt. Ultimately, theft was prevented when a stranger with a permit to carry brandished a firearm at the defendants, who left the vehicle, and fled the scene.
In both cases, a separate stolen SUV, manned by one of the defendants, was waiting in the wings.
Victims were severely injured by the defendants, according to the Attorney's Office.
Authorities say they were able to track all three juveniles, as well as the stolen SUV, through a collection of tips, surveillance footage and witness photos — at which point arrests were made.
Two of the juveniles made their first courtroom appearances on Monday around 1:30 p.m. An appearance for the third has yet to be scheduled.
No further information has been released at this time.
Watch more local news:
Watch the latest local news from the Twin Cities in our YouTube playlist: