Something new to worry about: Authorities warn communities about rise in “bump-and-rob” carjackings

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MAPLEWOOD, MN – As crime continues to rise in most cities across the nation, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) is warning people that the “bump-and-rob” form of carjackings are becoming more common throughout the state of Minnesota.

A “bump-and-rob” carjacking is where a driver of one car bumps into another and then tries to rob the victims at gunpoint.

In one recent example, on the evening of Wednesday, November 9th, four people excited their vehicle after a fender bender that they caused and approached the driver of the car they had just bumped into.

One of those individuals pointed a gun at the driver who was hit and then the group drove off with his vehicle. This specific incident happened near an elementary school and a busy intersection. In a statement, Mike Martin, the undersheriff of regional services for RCSO said:

“They were surrounded by four males who got out of another car and robbed the occupant at gunpoint and took that person’s vehicle as well.”

According to Martin, there have been nearly a dozen cases like this just within the Twin Cities Metro. He added:

“We’re starting to see an increase in incidents like this and it’ something that we’re very concerned about.”

Within 24 hours, officers spotted the stolen vehicle. This time, six juveniles inside the vehicle tried to evade authorities, but crashed. Most of the group tried to flee the scene on foot.

According to police, all six of the suspects were taken into custody and no one was seriously injured in the car crash. Martin said:

“There’s no car, there’s no purse or wallet, or cell phone that’s worth risking your life. So, if you end up in the situation, just comply with whatever they’re trying to get you to do and call 911 as soon as you can.”

In St. Croix County, Wisconsin, the County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an attempted carjacking that occurred in Hudson Township on the night of November 13th.

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According to reports, police were called to the scene near County Highway North and US-12 around 8:37 p.m. where victims of the attempted carjacking stated that they were driving on the highway when a vehicle pulled out ahead of them and “forced them to stop.”

A man then stepped our of the car and pointed a gun at the victims’ car. The victims said they drove away but the male suspect allegedly “fired at them” and hit their vehicle.

The man then followed them for a shot while before heading west on I-94. Police said that the suspect’s vehicle was seen driving off, but they were unable to catch him as he drove into Minnesota.

No injuries were reported and the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with any information related to the incident to contact their office.

This incident is just one of multiple local occurrences over the last year. Officials have recently warned about the “bump-and-rob” carjackings.

Over the summer, a 17-year-old was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for felonies related to a series of carjackings in the Twin Cities.

In June, a man agreed to plead guilty to a number of state charges as part of a plea deal for his role in a 10-day crime spree that involved victims from at least 15 different communities across the metro.

In August, the City if Minneapolis issued a warning about an increase in reported robberies and carjackings in the Ventura Village and Midtown Phillips neighborhoods.

On Sunday, November 13th, in Chicago, Illinois, a man was arrested after carjacking a couple and speeding off in the car with their two-month old child still inside.

According to Chicago police, the suspect, identified as 26-year-old Pherris Harrington, forcefully took the car from the couple around 11:00 p.m. in the 1500 block of West Lawrence Avenue.

Harrington allegedly drove off with the child still inside and crashed into several other vehicles before fleeing the car on foot. Officers located the suspect about 30 minutes after the carjacking.

As Harrington was being arrested, he battered a responding officer and a paramedic. He has been charged with felony counts of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated vehicular hijacking.

He also faces misdemeanor charges of battery, possession of ammunition without a valid firearm owner’s identification car, obstructing a peace officer and leaving the scene of an accident.

According to data, motor vehicle theft year-to-date in the city spiked 92 percent compared to the same time frame in 2021. There have been 17,096 reported incidents citywide so far this year, up from 8,898 in 2021.

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