In 2022, on average, 44 cars were stolen every day in Minnesota – that’s almost one or two cars every hour. Auto theft affects the lives and finances of thousands of Minnesotans and steals from the wallets of every consumer in the form of higher insurance premiums.
That’s why the Minnesota Department of Commerce has partnered with local law enforcement, county prosecutors and community organizations since 2004 in a coordinated partnership to stop auto theft in its tracks. The Minnesota Auto Theft Prevention Grant Program provides funding for local projects that aid in:
Identification of critical law enforcement issues related to auto theft
Auto theft education for law enforcement officers and citizens
Investigation and prosecution of auto theft suspects
Collaboration between law enforcement agencies working to reduce auto theft
Prevention of auto thefts which result in lower auto insurance premium
In 1996, the Minnesota Legislature created the Auto Theft Prevention Grant Program. The program is funded from a surcharge collected from automobile insurance carriers that provide comprehensive insurance coverage issued in the State of Minnesota. The amount of the surcharge is $.50 cents per vehicle for every six months of coverage. Using this funding, the program makes money available through a competitive grant process for activities that address the problem of auto theft.
In July 2004, the Auto Theft Prevention Program was statutorily transferred to the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The Fraud Bureau has managed the program since 2009.
Recent Grant Recipients
Efforts previously supported by Minnesota’s Auto Theft Prevention Grant Program include: jail interviews of known suspects and associates that yield a high rate of recovery and charges; increased crime scene processing of recovered stolen vehicles; mobile and stationary license plate readers that allow law enforcement to fight auto theft without hiring additional officers and more.
Automobile Theft Prevention Grants prioritize areas of the state where automobile theft is most problematic and support Greater Minnesota law enforcement. A comprehensive list of grants can be found above in the most recent annual report to the governor and legislature.
Anoka County Attorney's Office
Anoka County Joint Law Enforcement Council
Bloomington Police Department
Brooklyn Center Police Department
Eden Prairie Police Department
Edina Police Department
Hennepin County Attorney's Office
Hennepin County Sheriff's Office
Hibbing Police Department
Maplewood Police Department
Minneapolis Police Department
Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association
Minnetonka Police Department
Minnesota State Patrol
Ramsey County Attorney's Office
Ramsey County Sheriff's Office
Ramsey County Youth Auto Theft Intervention Project
Roseville Police Department
Saint Paul Police Department
South St. Paul Police Department
Washington County Attorney's Office
In addition to general grant awards, dedicated auto theft investigator grants were also awarded to police departments in Bemidji, Brooklyn Center, Coon Rapids/Anoka, Duluth, Edina, Fridley/Spring Lake Park/Columbia Heights, Maplewood, Roseville, St. Cloud, Saint Paul, South St. Paul and the Hennepin County, Mille Lacs County and Ramsey County Sheriff’s Offices.