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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.

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.

Grantee Award
Anoka County Attorney's Office $ 193,859
Anoka County Joint Law Enforcement Council $ 290,773
Bloomington Police Department $ 84,336
Brooklyn Center Police Department $ 34,200
Eden Prairie Police Department $ 19,885
Edina Police Department $ 65,742
Hennepin County Attorney's Office $ 548,424
Hennepin County Sheriff's Office $ 160,800
Hibbing Police Department $ 28,424
Maplewood Police Department $ 34,685
Minneapolis Police Department $ 1,298,160
Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association  $ 99,999
Minnetonka Police Department $ 68,046
Minnesota State Patrol $ 5,800
Ramsey County Attorney's Office $ 568,969
Ramsey County Sheriff's Office $ 79,840
Ramsey County Youth Auto Theft Intervention Project $ 499,929
Roseville Police Department $ 64,636
Saint Paul Police Department $ 218,433
South St. Paul Police Department $ 59,276
Washington County Attorney's Office  $ 116,200

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.

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