Two Men Arrested, Charged for Carjacking a Woman in a Mall Parking Lot

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Two men have been charged in a federal criminal complaint for their roles in the armed carjacking of a woman in a mall parking lot, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, on February 16, 2022, Leon Kismit Bell, 48, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 22, were walking around the parking lot of the Rosedale Center Mall. The two men followed a vehicle, waiting for the driver, a 67-year-old woman, to park. Surveillance video from the mall’s parking lot shows Bell and Piche approach the woman as she was standing outside of her vehicle. Bell flashed a gun in his waistband and demanded her keys. The woman gave Bell her purse, which contained her wallet and keys, and ran from the vehicle. Bell initially ran after the woman, but then returned to the vehicle, got in the driver’s seat, and drove to pick up Piche, who was several rows away in the parking lot. The two men then fled the parking lot.

According to court documents, officers with the Roseville Police Department were able to track the vehicle heading south on I-35W. The vehicle was driving erratically and due to safety concerns, officers stopped their pursuit. Further investigation led law enforcement to a location in south Minneapolis where Piche was taken into custody. The stolen vehicle was found a few blocks away from where Piche was arrested. On May 3, 2022, law enforcement located and arrested Bell.

Bell is charged with one count of carjacking. Piche is charged with one count of aiding and abetting carjacking. On April 29, 2022, Piche appeared in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung and was ordered to remain in detention pending further proceedings. Bell made his initial appearance yesterday in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge John F. Docherty. Bell was ordered temporarily detained pending a formal detention hearing on May 6, 2022.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Roseville Police Department, and the Minneapolis Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry M. Jacobs is prosecuting the case.

A complaint is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.