Minneapolis Police Study Tells Where, Who, When Of Robberies

David Chanen, Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul), Feb. 16, 2007

If you were one of the nearly 2,800 reported robbery victims in Minneapolis in 2006, you were most likely robbed on a street or sidewalk by a male between the ages of 13 and 17, according to an analysis the Police Department released Friday.

The crime also more likely happened Thursday through Sunday, between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. Many robberies happened in June or July.

Whether victim or robber, you were probably male. But as a victim, you were most likely between ages 20 and 39 and threatened or assaulted while the robber demanded money.

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Last year’s robbery totals were the highest since 1997 and a major factor for the 17 percent increase in violent crime reports in 2006.

The analysis, which has been produced for the past two years, supported the Police Department’s renewed focus on juvenile crime: Victims reported that 1,581 robbery suspects in 2006 were 13 to 17 years old.

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Race and geography

The department also examined the race of suspects and victims. Victims reported that the robber or robbers were black 85 percent of the time; 82 percent of those arrested for robbery were black. Of the victims, 48 percent were white and 30 percent were black. (A victim’s race is reported at the discretion of officers, and about 16 percent were listed in a category including mixed race or unknown race.)

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The intensifying rise of racial and social segregation in the Twin Cities is a contributing factor to the high number of blacks alleged to be committing the majority of the robberies in Minneapolis, said Myron Orfield, executive director of the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. Public policy seems to be encouraging schools and low-income housing to become more segregated, which cuts the opportunities for minorities to succeed, he said.

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