By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police are trying to solve a rash of robberies in St. Paul.

There were five of them across the city Sunday night, some of them at gunpoint. All of the robberies happened during a two-hour span of time.

When two men were robbed at gunpoint at a Barclay Street apartment, little did St. Paul police know it would be the first of five bold and brazen robberies Sunday night.

READ MORE: St. Paul’s Mayor, Police Chief Speak Out At Meeting On City’s Gun Violence Dilemma

Neighbors on Barclay Street aren’t the only ones on edge. A half hour later, a woman’s purse was pulled off her shoulder on Timberlake Road. And 10 minutes after that, a mom and her daughter had their purses taken on Sherburne Avenue.

“They started banging on the door. They came in and said, ‘We’ve been robbed!’” Nadira Mohamed said.

Mohamed’s aunt and cousin were the victims, robbed at gunpoint just outside her house. In their purses were credit cards and IDs.

“It’s scary because they have their information. They know where they live. They have their car keys,” Mohamed said.

Site of the robbery at Holly Street and Mackubin Avenue (credit: CBS)

And the robberies weren’t over. Two men then took a woman’s purse at Holly Street and Mackubin Avenue, and later another woman had her purse taken near the 1300 block of Western Avenue.

“The circumstances sure look like they are related. Investigators are looking into the facts to try and determine if they are,” St. Paul Police Sgt. Mike Ernster said.

In some of these cases, victims said the robbers took off in a dark blue Toyota RAV4, and it may have been stolen.

Ernster says the ambush robberies are similar to those that occurred around the holidays, including one in which a woman had her purse stolen while it was wrapped around her arm. She was dragged 75 yards, but wasn’t hurt. The suspects used a stolen car that was later recovered.

“It’s unknown how those victims are being targeted, but it’s very random and hard to predict when these are going to occur,” Sgt. Ernster said.

Police are asking people to pay attention and stay vigilant. If you see something suspicious, they want you to call 911 immediately.

John Lauritsen

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