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Auto Theft Prevention Program

For Law Enforcement

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

Program Background 

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.

General Grant

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.

The following information is for fiscal year 2024:

Grantee Award
Anoka County Attorney's Office $ 117,678.00
Hennepin County Attorney $ 102,339.60
Ramsey County Attorney $ 333,806.60
Washington County Attorney $ 70,118.00
Sub Total $ 623,942.20
Anoka County Joint Project $ 204,323.42
Bloomington Police $ 49,379.00
Carver County Sheriff $ NO 2024
Duluth $ 6,243.84
Eden Prairie Police $ 82,975.00
Edina Police $ 57,396.61
Hennepin County Sheriff $ 217,000.00
Hibbing Police $ 13,910.00
Minnetonka Police $ 88,723.00
Minneapolis Police $ 332,167.20
MSP $ 95,481.86
Oakdale Police $ 48,217.00
Ramsey County Sheriff $ 231,250.00
Shakopee Police $ 30,000.00
South Lake Minnetonka Police $ 11,400.00
South St. Paul Police $ 5,000.00
St. Louis Park $ 25,271.03
St. Paul Police $ 413,905.42
Woodbury Police $ 16,250.00
Sub Total $ 1,973,158.38
Ramsey Youth Project $ 374,828.40
Trueth $ 152,000.00
Sub Total $ 526,828.40
Total $ 3,123,928.98

Investigator Grant

  • Coon Rapids 
  • Duluth 
  • Edina (part time) 
  • Fridley – Spring Lake Park, Columbia Heights 
  • HCSO (2) 
  • Maplewood (2) 
  • MCSO (p) 
  • Minnetonka 
  • RCSO (3) 
  • Roseville 
  • SPPD
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