EDINA, MN — Three teens are facing charges after prosecutors alleged they were involved in attempted carjackings in Edina and St. Louis Park.
A 16-year-old and a 17-year-old were each charged Monday with five counts of aggravated battery in connection with “separate but related” carjackings Dec. 9 in Edina and St. Louis Park, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Another 16-year-old is facing two counts of aggravated battery after prosecutors alleged he participated in the attempted carjacking in St. Louis Park, prosecutors said.
Hennepin County prosecutors said they are seeking to try both 16-year-olds as adults.
A man reported an attempted carjacking around 3:15 p.m. Dec. 9 at a Lunds & Byerlys grocery store in St. Louis Park after several juveniles tried to pull him out of his car, police said.
St. Louis Park police alleged the juveniles punched the man and threatened him with a drill that they pretended was a gun.
A man who tried to intervene in the attempted carjacking was punched by one of the juveniles, police allege. The two fought until the juveniles fled the area in a stolen SUV, police allege.
Three people were hurt about 90 minutes later in an attempted carjacking in the parking lot of a Lunds & Byerlys store in Edina.
Police alleged the two juveniles facing charges in Edina entered a parked car and punched a woman in the driver’s seat while trying to push her out of the vehicle. The woman honked her horn and alerted two men in the parking lot, police said.
The 16-year-old bit one of the men as they tried to pull him from the woman’s car, police allege.
Police alleged the 17-year-old put the car into reverse and struck one of the men in the head with the driver’s door before running over his legs.
The woman suffered “significant cuts and scrapes” to her shoulder as she was dragged through the parking lot because she was still wearing her seat belt, police said.
Police alleged the two juveniles jumped out of the woman’s car and ran from the parking lot after a witness pulled out a gun they are licensed to carry.
Prosecutors said the juveniles were identified with surveillance footage from St. Louis Park and Edina, as well as witness accounts and help from the public.
Edina police launched a new program called “SafeCam” that asks residents and businesses to register their security cameras with the department so officers can quickly determine who to call if a crime is reported in that area.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said it is ramping up its efforts to prosecute carjacking suspects, with two prosecutors recently assigned to specialize in those cases.