Appealing to the public for help in a case that's stymied them for some months, the Minneapolis Police Department announced on Wednesday that information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person behind a series of violent attacks at the corner of 36th and Bryant will net a reward for $1,000.
Last week, a lone vandal struck and for the fifth time this year, taking a baseball bat or sledgehammer to the businesses' reinforced windows. Nothing was taken in this or any previous attacks, although this was the first time both businesses were hit at once. Owner Joe Liu that he suspects someone had a "vendetta" agains his family, who owns both shops.
The reward has been on offer for some days, but Fifth Precinct Crime Prevention Specialist Amy Lavender made the announcement at a community meeting at the Southwest Senior Center, that had been called to address the issue.
Fifth Precinct commander Inspector Matt Clark said his officers did not yet have either a suspect or a motive for the crime. However, thanks to security camera footage from the businesses attacked, Clark said police are on the lookout for a heavyset white male about six feet in height, weighing around 250 to 300 pounds, and prowling in the area of 36th and Bryant on foot around 4:00 a.m.
Clark said officers had stepped up patrols in the area using both marked and unmarked cruisers, and urged residents to call 911 if they saw suspicious activity. Still, he cautioned residents not to expect a breakthrough in the case overnight—another vandalism case in the area last year wasn't solved until the culprit had struck their target 12 times, Clark said.
"We take this very seriously," Clark said. "The officers working at night are very attentive to this issue, and this corner."
"Support these businesses with your money," East Harriet's City Councilmember Meg Tuthill (Ward 9) urged residents. "Encourage your neighbors to do the same. As a former small business owner, I can tell you it makes a huge difference in these kinds of circumstances.