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New data from 50 suburbs shows crime is growing there, too

The Star Tribune analyzed the numbers and found violent and property crimes mostly went up in six cities north of Minneapolis.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Golden Valley Police say two teenage girls, who were simply getting gas, were carjacked by two boys and one of them had a gun. 

It happened Monday night at the Speedway off Douglas Drive North around 8:30 p.m.

While police have since recovered the car and arrested one of the suspects, officers are investigating four other recent carjackings around the city.

Police say that's more than what the area has experienced in previous years and, according to a new report from the Star Tribune, crime is up in some suburbs. 

The Star Tribune spent four months analyzing data from 2017 to 2021 from 50 Twin Cities police departments in suburbs with more than 10,000 residents.

"I screamed bloody murder," said Sharon McWhite, whose purse was stolen right off her arm last December. "Then like an idiot, I ran after him."

She says it happened in a grocery store parking lot in St. Louis Park. 

More recently, police in Golden Valley have been investigating five carjackings they say happened outside a house, a golf course, apartment complex and a gas station. 

Police say the suspects in nearly every case were wearing dark ski masks and armed with semi-automatic handguns.

"There was a general notion going around that there was an increase in some suburbs in terms of violent crime," said Star Tribune data journalist Jeff Hargarten. "We really wanted to quantify that."

Hargarten says he also cross referenced the data it received with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI.

He says it found crime started going up in 2020 -- most notably to the north in Crystal, Columbia Heights, Brooklyn Center, Robbinsdale, New Hope and Brooklyn Park.

"You have the unrest, you have the pandemic, you have the deaths of George Floyd, the next year you have the death of Daunte Wright," said Hargarten.

He says the data also shows the metro is a patchwork of public safety trends that ebb and flow every year. Where crime may be up some places, it's also low or unchanged in areas like Chaska, Cottage Grove and Edina. 

"The suburbs are not a monolith; these are all very different places and our findings reflect that," said Hargarten.

The Star Tribune also reported that the suburban crime doesn't even compare to Minneapolis and St. Paul -- two cities that experienced a record breaking number of homicides last year.

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