Minneapolis police arrested three teenagers on Monday suspected in an armed robbery earlier in the day, following a week that saw a spike in robberies in the city, according to the police department.
Around 1:15 p.m. on Monday, officers identified two stolen white Kias in northeast Minneapolis that they believe were used that morning in an armed robbery on the 500 block of W. 43rd St., the department said in a news release.
The Kias were traveling east on Lowry Avenue towards the Lowry Avenue Bridge. The officers pursued one of the cars through north Minneapolis before it crashed into a vehicle at the intersection of N. Penn and Plymouth avenues, police said.
Officers recovered a handgun and arrested young men who fled from the crashed Kia, the release states. No injuries were reported, and the other Kia has not been found.
The arrests come after 46 violent crimes were reported over the weekend, 70% of which were robberies, according to statistics from Minneapolis police. There has been a 40% increase in robberies this year compared to at this point in 2023, police said.
Investigators are trying to determine if the three teenagers arrested were involved in the rash of robberies, the release states.
Fourteen of the robberies overnight Saturday into Sunday morning consisted of people getting out of a vehicle before robbing someone walking outside, police say. Eight of those 14 robberies appear to be committed by the same suspects or with the same vehicles, the release adds.
Most of the robberies involve victims being approached by groups of two to 10 people; victims described the suspects as mostly males between 15 and 20 years old.
Guns were present in most of these robberies, police said. While the weekend robberies usually targeted pedestrians, some on Thursday and Friday targeted people in their vehicle or getting in or out, the department said.
Stolen items included purses, wallets, phones, cash and a couple of cars.
The department urged that if approached by an armed individual or a group, victims should focus on as many details as possible.
Police said important details are the license plate numbers, vehicle description, height, weight, sex, race, hair color and hairstyle, clothes, and the number of suspects.
"Call 911 as soon as you are able," the department advised. "If your credit or debit cards are stolen, cancel them by phone as soon as possible and note any usage after the theft."