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Minnesota Auto Theft Prevention Program

On average, 23 cars are stolen every day in Minnesota – that’s almost one car every hour. Auto theft affects the lives and finances of thousands of Minnesotans every year 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
  • Notice of Request for Proposals for 2014 Automobile Theft Prevention Grants (GovDelivery) 

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.

Grantee Award
Anti-Vehicle Crime Association of Minnesota (AVCAM) $67,954
Bemidji Police Department $304,306
Bloomington Police Department $267,943
Brooklyn Center Police Department $103,604
Anoka County Joint Law Enforcement Council $250,261
Crime Stoppers of Minnesota $87,248
District 2 Community Council $22,894
Duluth Police Department $97,456
Hennepin County Attorney $528,517
Hennepin County Sheriff $96,170
Mille Lacs County Sheriff $182,051
Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) $110,890
International Association of Special Investigation Units $74,230
Minnesota State Patrol $76,963
Minneapolis Police Department $302,629
Olmstead County Sheriff $64,655
Ramsey County Attorney $525,690
Roseville Police Department $66,083
St. Paul Police Department $373,529
Washington County Sheriff $76,276
Washington/Anoka County Attorney  $107,561

Minnesota Auto Theft At A Glance

In 2010, more than 8,400 vehicles were stolen in Minnesota, worth $21.3 million. As shocking as those figures are, auto theft has steadily decreased over the last seven years. In fact, the incidence of auto theft in Minnesota has dropped by more than 37 percent since 2004. That is thanks in large part to the success of this statewide partnership.

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