Minneapolis police arrested three male juveniles in a string of robberies that occurred Sunday during separate crime sprees on opposite sides of the city.

Four robberies took place within 18 minutes in the city's Fifth Precinct in south Minneapolis on Sunday morning, according to data provided by police in a news release Monday. The precinct stopped responding to calls for service for 45 minutes in order to triage limited resources toward the robbery reports, part of a new protocol to thwart active threats with the department's depleted staffing.

A half-hour later, police responded to another carjacking followed by an armed robbery across the river in northeast Minneapolis.

In total, there were 16 incidents including robberies, armed robberies and carjackings between 10:45 a.m. and 9:24 p.m. on Sunday, according to the news release. Nine of the 16 incidents involved suspects threatening people with handguns, police said.

In a 15-minute period between 8:25 and 8:40 p.m., there were four armed robberies reported in different areas of Uptown, according to the police data.

Police Chief Brian O'Hara said the suspects are young and mostly targeted female victims, in some cases at gunpoint. No one was injured in the robberies.

Around 9:25 p.m., an officer located a black Mazda CX5 that was was carjacked earlier and used in several of the robberies, according to the release. The Mazda crossed the Lowry Bridge at a high speed and was followed by a gray Mazda, which also had been carjacked, police said.

Officers pursued the black Mazda to the 1700 block of Newton Avenue North and before a foot chase led to the arrest of a 17-year-old suspect who was hiding under a vehicle, according to police. The teenager was booked into the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center. A handgun was recovered.

The gray Mazda crashed and rolled over after hitting a parked Tesla near the intersection of Sheridan Avenue North and West Farwell Avenue, police said. Two more teenagers, ages 17 and 14, were taken to HCMC for non-life-threatening injuries. They were medically cleared before being booked into the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center. Police believe at least two suspects are still at large.

The weekend incidents may be connected to a string of similar robberies that occurred in Minneapolis earlier this month, O'Hara said.

"This again appears to be the same MO, the same groups of juveniles, that we suspect were involved in the previous robbery spree," he said. "We've had investigators working around the clock to try to identify all the different individuals involved. However, we believe this is more than one group. And we suspect today it may have been two groups of juveniles working in tandem that committed these crimes."

So far this year, 237 robberies have been reported in Minneapolis, on pace to match the average from the past three years, but up 34% from the same time in 2023 — marking a setback for downward progress in violent crime seen last year — according to police dashboard data.

Earlier this month, O'Hara issued a departmentwide memo to reallocate resources during a robbery spree. The protocol directs patrol officers across the city who are not on a high-priority call or actively engaged in another emergency to respond to the area of the robbery spree. All lower priority calls are to be suspended, and police are told to cease breaks, writing reports and other non-emergent duties, until the threat is over, according to the memo.

O'Hara said the police response Sunday "did have the intended effect" of stopping the crime sprees. He asked the public to be on the lookout for groups of young people circling a block in stolen cars looking for potential victims, and urged anyone who sees suspicious activity to report it as soon as possible.

"It's also important for people to know, if you happen to be a victim of one of these crimes, remember that property can be replaced," he said.

Police say they are still investigating and will release more information as it becomes available.