MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A woman from northern Minnesota says it only took moments for carjackers to strike during her visit to the Twin Cities.
Pamela Goldberg was waiting in her truck outside a Mt. Olivet Careview Homes Wednesday in south Minneapolis at about 4 p.m., when two strangers attacked. She says a man jumped in the driver’s seat of her car while she was in the back seat, elevating her leg after a recent knee surgery.READ MORE: Twin Cities Carjacking Victim Decries ‘Slap On The Wrist’ For Violent Teen Offender
“He said, ‘Get out of the car!’ Swearing at me, ‘Get out of the car! I don’t want to hurt you!’” Goldberg said.
Goldberg says their truck’s back door can only open when the front doors are open, so she was stuck. She said the man started driving off with her in the back seat. She said when they reached the parking lot exit, a young woman opened the truck’s passenger door. Goldberg thought she was trying to help her at first.
“She grabbed me by my arms and pretty much just flung me down onto the ground, and got in the vehicle and took off. It was all in the matter of a minute,” Goldberg said.
Carjackings are a problem across the Twin Cities. In Minneapolis, there have been more than 50 carjackings this year, and there have been 25 carjackings in St. Paul, compared to the six they had this time last year. Police say that the suspects are consistently young, between 13 – 20 years old.READ MORE: With Carjackings On The Rise, Here’s How To Avoid Becoming A Victim
St. Paul police recently re-focused their attention on solving these carjackings by launching “Operation Intercept.” It’s an effort between SPPD’s Gangs and Guns Unit and their Narcotics Unit to investigate carjackings and make arrests. Right now, they are in the process of making eight new arrests, according to Jeff Stiff, commander of the Gangs and Guns Unit.
“With the arrests that we have made, and I’m going to knock on wood here, we’ve been carjack free for about seven days,” Stiff said.
While St. Paul is seeing a trend in the right direction, victims of these carjackings are left dealing with their trauma and fear indefinitely.
“I’m angry that people can do that to other people and change the way they live,” Goldberg said.
Her and her husband’s truck is still missing. She says the front passenger headlight is out, and there‘s a Marine Corp sticker on the back window.MORE NEWS: As Carjackings Climb In Minneapolis, Ages Of Offenders Are Dropping
St. Paul police say because these carjacking suspects are so young, youth outreach will be part of their investigation to make sure they’re providing these teenagers with long-term help, not just jail time.