In the Twin Cities, as throughout much of the country, rising crime is a top news story. While homicides draw the most headlines, the crime that has most instilled fear in law-abiding citizens, in my area at least, is carjacking.
I lived in the Twin Cities metro area for more than 40 years before, to my recollection, I ever heard the word “carjacking” in a local context. Now, carjackings are rampant, not only in the central cities but across the suburbs. Some carjackings are motivated by profit, while others apparently are carried out just for fun. Weapons are often used, and there have been some injuries, although I am not aware of anyone who had been murdered in the course of a carjacking. Most of these crimes reportedly are carried out by black juveniles or young adults.
Last week a two-person crime wave came to an end when two suspects, St. Paul residents, were arrested. The details shed light on the current public safety crisis:
Two teenagers are facing a combined 31 charges in connection to a string of carjackings, robberies, and thefts across 15 cities.
St. Paul residents Kashawn Wertman, 18, and Nautica Argue, 19, are accused of perpetrating nearly 25 carjacking-related offenses in St. Louis Park, Plymouth, Richfield, Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Edina, White Bear Lake, Roseville, Columbia Heights, Lakeville, Eagan, Little Canada, Burnsville, Woodbury, and St. Paul.
Some of these were high-profile crimes that garnered significant media attention, such as a Jan. 9 carjacking outside of Wayzata East Middle School and an attempted carjacking at an Edina daycare on Jan. 12.
Their crime spree began on Jan. 7 when they allegedly stole a running vehicle out of a St. Louis Park woman’s driveway in the middle of the day.
About an hour later, they carjacked a delivery driver at gunpoint in White Bear Lake, according to the allegations made against them in criminal complaints.
They stole a total of 10 vehicles and attempted to steal many more over the next several days.
Carjacking is intrinsically a crime of violence, which is why it has aroused so much fear and anger.
They didn’t hesitate to use violence against their victims, often threatening to shoot those who resisted or punching them in the face. They snatched purses and phones along the way and often targeted multiple victims in the same attack.
These young career criminals seem to have absorbed the zeitgeist when it comes to law enforcement:
Upon his arrest, Wertman told police that they should be “out arresting murderers, not people who steal cars.”
Hey, it’s only a property crime! Why are you getting upset? That attitude is consistent with with Black Lives Matter ideology, the defund the police movement, liberal theories of crime and punishment, and the general tolerance of lawlessness that we have seen in many American cities.
It is not, however, consistent with the views of any substantial number of voters, as liberal politicians are likely to learn in November.