Golden Valley was one of several west metro communities that experienced vehicle tampering incidents late last week. The reported incidents involved a silver vehicle carrying one to three Black males who either approached or tried to enter cars parked in driveways and then fled when confronted by homeowners. No weapons were reported in the incidents, which are under investigation by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO).
In Golden Valley, HCSO deputies took reports from homeowners Thursday, July 13, 2023 in the 400 block of Turnpike Rd and the 100 block of Louisiana Ave. According to Golden Valley Police Chief Virgil Green, similar incidents were reported nearby in St Louis Park and Minnetonka. He said the Golden Valley Police Department (GVPD) is collaborating with these jurisdictions to share intelligence and coordinate efforts to address the issue.
Because of the nature of the reports from Golden Valley, HCSO classified them as suspicious/tampering with a motor vehicle. “Local social media sites were describing these as carjackings, which wasn’t accurate,” Green said. “Neither fits law enforcement’s definition of a carjacking, which is ‘the crime of stealing a car while someone is in it by using physical force or threats.’”
Green also cites Minnesota Statutes, section 609.52, subdivision 2(17), which states that theft occurs when a person “takes or drives a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner or an authorized agent of the owner, knowing or having reason to know that the owner or an authorized agent of the owner did not give consent.”
“We want to make sure when incidents occur where Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office deputies or Golden Valley police officers respond, the details are factual and correct,” adds Green. “We want to also remind our residents to remain vigilant, be aware of their surroundings, and to report any suspicious activities they may observe by dialing 911 immediately. We encourage homeowners to remove garage door openers from being visible in parked vehicles and to follow our nightly #9PM Routine safety tips. Don’t become an easy target for criminals.”