MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two Hennepin County attorneys have been designated to specifically handle the rising number of carjacking cases in the Twin Cities.

County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday that one attorney will focus on adult cases, while another will focus on cases involving juvenile suspects. An advocate has also been appointed to help carjacking victims.

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“These are violent and scary cases for the victims who are carjacked, some happening in broad daylight outside the grocery store or their homes,” Freeman said. “My office will provide victim assistance and prosecute cases referred to us from law enforcement to the full extent of the law.”

(credit: CBS)

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The attorney’s office has seen carjacking case referrals skyrocket in the past two years, with a total of 262 so far. In 2021 alone, there have been 138 referrals, with 68% of them involving juvenile suspects.

Minneapolis police say there have been more than 500 reported carjackings in 2021. There were 401 in 2020 — four times the amount reported in 2019.

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Edina Mayor Jim Hovland has recently put out a call to other Twin Cities suburbs to pool resources and technology to combat the rise in carjackings and robberies in their communities.