I don’t write much about crime. No one wants to talk about it and it is bad for business. Last week I was the victim of a robbery. A robbery is a bit different than a theft or a burglary and the difference is important. A robbery is an in person crime where force is used with the intent to take something and it is a felony.
A young man followed me into the lobby of a downtown building, started talking to me and when I turned around to answer him he grabbed my purse and ran.
Ultimately I got my belongings back. A total stranger heard me yell as I ran after the robber and was able to intercept the robber causing him to drop my purse and run away.
That was the third or maybe the fourth time I have had a purse and wallet stolen in St. Paul but the prior occasions were thefts or burglaries and even a “smash and grab” but not robberies in broad daylight during the lunch hour in downtown St. Paul.
The police arrived more than an hour after I called 911 to “take my statement” and by that time any witness who may have been in the area was long gone. As has always been my experience with the Saint Paul PD these two were about as indifferent as two people could be.
There isn’t anything they can do after a crime happens but I always figure if I call them and report it maybe somehow the information will help someone. The officers did not know the downtown area well or maybe not at all which made it hard to explain what happened, where it happened and where the thief went.
The young man who robbed me did not need to be afraid of being caught and will likely have a lucrative career grabbing purses and wallets downtown during business hours as long as he stays on the streets.
The streets around the Union Depot in downtown St. Paul, are eerily quiet during the noon hour. Maybe people are in the skyways. I was walking from my car which was parked on Wacouta Street to 4th street. As someone who likes to walk I know that the safest areas are the places where there are lots of people or even just more than three of four people.
If you go downtown and venture outside please be careful. Put your phone in your pocket and avoid carrying anything that can be taken away from you.
To learn more about crime in St. Paul go to the Saint Paul Police web site develop an awareness of what types of crimes happen and where they occur.