Year in Review: A Look at the 2021 Crime Surge
In 2021, many cities in the northwest metro saw a rise in gun violence.
The criminals were bold, firing guns in broad daylight and heavily populated areas in Brooklyn Park. The number of shots fired calls set a record this year.
“I’ve never seen the amount of lawlessness that we’re seeing,” said Brooklyn Park Police Chief Craig Enevoldsen.
Random crime spilled into all suburbs, including Plymouth. Youth baseball coach Jay Boughton was fatally shot July 6th on Highway 169 as he and his son drove home from a game. It took investigators months to make an arrest.
Maple Grove officials say violent crimes have remained relatively low, but the city did experience some unusual incidents. There was a shooting at the gas station, a carjacking incident, and a shooting at a hotel. Police say they’ve seen an uptick in weapons-related crimes.
“We’ve seen an increase in our weapons carrying complaints. Throughout the city, we’ve had 43 so far this year, where we only saw 29 in 2020,” said MGPD Commander Jon Wetternach.
Crystal was not immune to gun violence.
“I’ve never seen the amount of violent crime we’ve seen in the last two years,” said Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering.
Chief Stephanie Revering, who is also head of the Hennepin County Police Chiefs Association, says since 2019, violent crime has gone up almost 30 percent in her city of Crystal.
New Hope police Chief Tim Hoyt says violent crime has gone up significantly towards the end of the year.
“We had a carjacking within our city on outside a residential area. And over the last couple of months, we had two shootings where a multitude of shots came out, like 30 plus shots at each shooting,” Hoyt explained.
Law enforcement agencies increased patrols and pleaded with the public to report anything suspicious. And peacekeepers were brought in to calm the chaos.
Both police and civilian groups say it will take a joint effort not to repeat the violence in 2022.