Two people believed to be behind a series of carjackings and robberies across the metro area are in custody after law enforcement from several agencies pursued them during a chase that wound through cities earlier this week.
The arrests of an 18-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman on Tuesday came after St. Louis Park police had identified them as suspects in as many as 21 aggravated robberies and car thefts, including eight cases in the west metro suburb, according to a city news release.
Police spotted the suspects about 6:20 p.m. Tuesday driving a silver Audi TT, taken Jan. 16, in a robbery from a woman in the 5500 block of Cedar Lake Road in St. Louis Park. The Audi sped away and pursuit ensued. St. Louis Park officers did not chase the vehicle, but other law enforcement agencies did as the suspects drove through Hennepin and Ramsey counties.
A State Patrol dispatcher watched traffic cameras and radioed police detailed descriptions of the suspects' locations as they drove along Twin Cities freeways, said Lt. Gordon Shank of the State Patrol.
"Ramsey needed help locating the carjacking suspects," he said. So a female dispatcher stationed at the Minnesota Department of Transportation's Regional Traffic Management Center in Roseville watched their every move, relaying when they took an exit or changed roads. "This was a team effort. We could not do out job without them."
Ramsey County deputies eventually stopped the Audi in the 1700 block of Maryland Avenue in St. Paul. At the time, the suspects were in possession of evidence that connected them to robberies that occurred in White Bear Lake, Roseville, Brooklyn Center, Woodbury, Plymouth, Columbia Heights, Roseville, Edina and St. Louis Park, the city said.
The suspects were arrested and remained in the Hennepin County Jail as of Friday morning. The Star Tribune generally does not name suspects until they have been charged.
The 18-year-old man had been charged in April with aggravated robbery involving use of a firearm from an incident that happened in St. Louis Park. When he was arrested on Tuesday, the man had multiple active arrest warrants, including one stemming from that incident, the city said.
"The law enforcement efforts that led to the arrests are a successful first step in confronting those responsible for the violence that has impacted so many victims directly," the city said in a statement. "It is also a critical step toward combating the increase in violent crime that has plagued so many communities of late."