First Responders

Minneapolis Police Department to Citizens: ‘Be Prepared to Give up Your Cell Phone and Purse or Wallet’

August 5, 2020Joshua Skovlund
lowry bridge

The Lowry bridge over the Mississippi river in Minneapolis, MN. Photo by Joshua Skovlund/Coffee or Die.

Due to rising crime rates, last week the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) sent letters to residents within Minneapolis’ 3rd Precinct warning them to “be prepared to give up your cell phone and purse or wallet.”

The 3rd precinct sustained 100 robberies and 20 carjackings during the month of July, according to the letter.

The MPD Crime Data site shows 490 violent crimes and 1,951 property crimes within Minneapolis during July 2019. During that same timeframe this year, there have been 657 violent crimes and 1,908 property crimes. According to the site, property crime has decreased by 2.2.% in July 2020 while violent crime has increased by 34.1%.

People outside of the 3rd precinct during the riots and protests. Photo by Joshua Skovlund/Coffee or Die Magazine.

The full list of tips to prevent robberies and car thefts stated in the letter are:

Robbery prevention tips

  • Do not walk alone.

  • Be hyper-aware of your surroundings at all times.

  • Carry only items you need, and carry less cash.

  • Be prepared to give up your cell phone and purse or wallet.

  • Have keys already in your hand as you approach your car.

  • Do not argue or fight with the criminal – Do as they say. Your safety is most important.

  • Be a good witness. When you call 911, be prepared to answer many questions. How many suspects? Age, —height, complexion, hair and eye color? Scars or tattoos? Weapon- what did it look like? What direction did they leave in? Vehicle description?

Carjacking prevention tips

  • Lock your doors while driving.

  • Do not stop for strangers who are trying to approach you or stop your car.

  • Park in well-lit areas.

  • Always be hyper-aware of your surroundings.

  • Use a tracking device.

  • Never leave anything of value in your car.

  • Never leave your car running unattended. Many people who were robbed were dropping off food or other deliveries.

  • Memorize your license plate number. It helps toward a faster recovery.

The Minneapolis Police Department did not respond to requests for further comment.

The uptick in violent crime has been continuously increasing since the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. This latest warning from MPD comes shortly after the full-body camera footage of the incident was leaked by the Daily Mail Monday.

Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion.

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