After carjacking, Minnetonka residents pack city council meeting

A Minnetonka dad is bringing awareness to his family's story after his wife and teenage son were violently carjacked last month.

The crime has left their friends and neighbors rattled, and on Monday night, a city council meeting gave them a space to share those feelings. The meeting was packed, which was a result of Craig Beason’s family’s story being shared on social media.

"A few of you might know why I'm here: My wife and son were viciously attacked in our driveway," Beason told the council.

On Aug. 17, Beason’s wife had just returned home from grocery shopping when she became the victim of a carjacking outside the family's Minnetonka home. Court documents detail how she confronted the suspects, who attacked and dragged her and the couple's 13-year-old son. 

"My son’s got some trauma. He wakes up in the middle of the night and every car that drives down the street –thinking that someone's going to come back again," Beason said.

Romell Roshode Lewis, 21, has been charged with carjacking, robbery and burglary. Minnetonka city officials believe four juvenile thieves were also there at the time.

"I like to believe we have a safe city. We do have a safe city. But whenever something like that happens, it's a chink in our armor and it says well, ‘we're safe, but we're not crime free,’" said Brad Wiersum, the mayor of Minnetonka.

Lewis is not in police custody, as of Monday night. 

This was the city's first carjacking this year. Minnetonka city officials said 49 cars were stolen this year compared to 55 in the same time period last year. Wiersum points to statistics showing crime has decreased since the pandemic in Minnetonka and across the metro.

"The bad news is it's not as low as it was before the pandemic. So, I think there's still work to be done," Wiersum said.

The mayor also recognizes stats mean very little to crime victims.

"This could have happened to anyone in this room," Beason said.

The mayor said he feels property crimes need to be taken seriously by prosecutors and believes that the juveniles involved need to be accountable, as well.

City officials said about 60 percent of the vehicles stolen this year in Minnetonka had the keys inside or nearby. Key fobs were taken from unlocked gym lockers and cars.