Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Armed Robberies At Lake Calhoun - Where Has This News Been?

"It's sad that it's come to this. It's sad that this is OK to do to someone. I was just really mad. Really frustrated."

After reporting crime news over the last year in the Twin Cities area, certain trends become apparent. One of the trends is subtle, but becomes more obvious over time, and that is the buildup of crime events before widespread reporting occurs.

Every so often, we'll see a crime alert putting the public on notice of a string of store robberies, for example. The crimes will have occurred for months with no notice, and suddenly its an epidemic.

That appears to be the case with this disturbing story on armed robberies at the Lake Calhoun area of Minneapolis, an area that I consider to be one of the crown jewels of the city and a major draw for locals and tourists alike.

Armed robberies in such an area are serious and a substantial news event, yet we haven't heard about this until now, despite incidents noted in the news story going back to July.

Why haven't the police released information on these robberies sooner, and why hasn't the MSM reported these crimes?

KSTP Eyewitness News reports: "Robberies on the rise at Lake Calhoun".

Instead of hitting empty cars, criminals around Minneapolis' popular Lake Calhoun are now getting up close to their victims.

Police report a rise in robberies around the popular lake over the last few weeks. The robbers are usually armed with a gun or knife, and hit after dark, police report.

Kathleen Riley was sitting on a bench overlooking Lake Calhoun when three men snatched her purse Saturday evening.

"It happened really fast and then they were gone," she said. "It's sad that it's come to this. It's sad that this is OK to do to someone. I was just really mad. Really frustrated."

Police arrested the two men that they think robbed Riley, but her purse, cash, and credit cards are still missing.

"I miss my purse, if you see a really cute purse...it's mine."

For runners, bladers and bikers that use Calhoun as their exercise playground, the serene atmosphere and crime don't mix. But this summer, police say, crime is becoming more and more of a reality at the south Minneapolis hot spot.
Crime is becoming more and more of a reality all over the city. Crime at Lake Calhoun is only one symptom of the disease.

"I think it's very frightening and should be very alarming for the public, ya' know, and they should be aware of their surroundings," said Lt. Robert Goodsell, of the Minneapolis Police.

The crime against Riley was the fourth crime, or attempted crime, around the lake in the last month that police know of.

-On July 8, six suspects tried to rob a man at gunpoint [Ed. - Where was this report?]

-On July 24, a man was robbed at knifepoint [Or this?]

-On Aug. 5, a man and woman were robbed at gunpoint while sitting on a bench [Or this?]

To put those robberies in perspective, there were seven robberies reported in the area between January and August of this year, including the recent robberies. In all of 2005, only three robberies were reported in the area.
Why haven't gunpoint robberies by armed gangs at a high profile tourist destination been made public before this? Or did I just answer my own question?

Would you agree that a gang of six robbing a man at gunpoint at a major recreation/tourist area of Minneapolis is news?

The bottom line is there is a lot of violent crime happening in Minneapolis that is unreported, underreported, or late reported. In all cases, the public suffers.

Welcome to the Minneapolis Quagmire.