Woodbury Police said they were looking for two suspects after a woman hijacked a woman on Wednesday afternoon in the Woodbury Lakes shopping center.
Police said the incident happened at 5:20 p.m. in the 9100 block of Hudson Road when a woman got out of her SUV and was accosted by two suspects who had pulled over in another SUV .
The suspicious passenger demanded the woman’s keys and purse. He kept his right hand in his pocket and hinted that he was armed. The victim rushed to a nearby store and the suspects drove off in both SUVs.
Police believe the suspects arrived in a silver Nissan Rogue (Minnesota license 0054CD) that was stolen in a carjacking in St. Louis Park.
The first suspect was described by police as 18 to 22 years old, black, 5 feet 10 inches tall and 150 to 160 pounds. He was wearing a dark colored jacket. The second suspect was described as being between 18 and 22 years old, black and wearing dark colored clothing.
The victim’s SUV was a 2014 white Jeep Cherokee (Minnesota license NKU-703).
If you spot either vehicle, call 911.
Car hijacking follows a sharp increase in vehicle thefts around the Twin Cities.
Woodbury Police have also warned against leaving moving vehicles unattended following a number of thefts of such vehicles. An unoccupied moving vehicle was stolen from a residential driveway on Tuesday. It was later recovered but had been damaged.
Over the weekend, Woodbury Police also investigated a similar car theft by a teenager. A resident of Seasons was unloading a Kia after a shopping spree on Saturday afternoon. As the owner left the house, the suspect got into the vehicle, which had its remote control inside, and drove off. The owner tried unsuccessfully to stop the vehicle, which was later found unoccupied in Saint-Paul after being located with his GPS system.
And on Sunday, Woodbury officers working on a car theft arrested two 13-year-old boys in a White Bear Township auto theft after the vehicle was seen driving on Interstate 94 near the Interstate 494.
The Cadillac SRX suffered a “catastrophic failure” and the three occupants fled the SUV on foot. The two 13-year-olds were caught. One of them had previously been arrested for possession of stolen vehicles, police said. Inside the Cadillac, officers found a key fob for the stolen Kia and a garage door opener taken the day before.
In other advice to vehicle owners, Woodbury Police say:
- Keep keys out of unattended vehicles and, unless a vehicle is equipped with a remote start, do not allow vehicles to be driven unattended.
- Vehicles equipped with proximity (push to start) remotes can still be stolen if the vehicle is running, regardless of where the remote is located.
- Be aware of your surroundings when entering / exiting a vehicle or just sitting in a parking lot. Keep your eyes up and the doors locked.
- Report any suspicious behavior to 911.