ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - The Ramsey County Sheriff is advising drivers to stay alert following an uptick in armed carjackings in the east metro.
Sheriff Fletcher said there have been 14 carjackings reported in the area just in the last week. On Monday, deputies responded to a case in Little Canada, where the suspects blocked the victim from leaving at an intersection, held them at gunpoint and stole their car.
"This incident took place in broad daylight, at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, at a busy intersection when temperatures were below zero," Sheriff Fletcher said in a press release.
Sheriff Fletcher warned of a handful of other tactics used by carjackers, some of which involve distracting the driver by asking for help or even by causing a minor accident to draw the driver out of the car when they check for damage.
Authorities also urge car owners to stay vigilant while pumping gas and to not leave running vehicles unattended, even when warming them up in the bitter cold.
Carjackings have also been on the rise in Minneapolis, which saw a more than 300 percent increase between 2019 and 2020. In January, authorities arrested 46 people in three days as part of a sting operation.