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Commerce Department encourages law enforcement to apply for auto theft prevention grants

May 22, 2012


For Immediate Release

ST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced today an opportunity for local law enforcement, county prosecutors, and community organizations to apply for a third round of auto theft prevention grants. The Minnesota Auto Theft Prevention Grant Program provides funding for local programs that aid in:

  1. Identification of critical law enforcement issues related to auto theft
  2. Auto theft education for law enforcement officers and citizens
  3. Investigation and prosecution of auto theft suspects
  4. Collaboration between law enforcement agencies working to reduce auto theft
  5. Prevention of auto thefts which result in lower auto insurance premiums

“Every hour, a car is stolen in Minnesota,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “Auto theft affects the security of our communities and costs every Minnesota consumer in the form of higher insurance premiums. The best defenses we have against car thieves are knowledge, prevention, and coordinated partnerships made possible in part by this program.”

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.

These efforts, and similar efforts funded by the program, have helped reduce the frequency of auto theft in Minnesota. According to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s (BCA) Uniform Crime Report, auto theft in Minnesota has declined by more than 37 percent since 2004. That year, more than 13,410 vehicles were stolen totaling nearly $52.6 million stolen value. In 2010, 8,398 vehicles were stolen totaling $21.3 million in stolen value.

“This successful partnership has helped to reduce the incidence of auto theft in our state,” said Commissioner Rothman. “We are committed to working with local partners to continue that forward momentum and encourage all eligible programs to apply for this third round of funding.”

Applications must be submitted to the Department of Commerce no later than 4:00pm on June 22, 2012. Grants will be awarded for the period from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013, ranging upwards from $5,000. The full request for proposals can be found on the Minnesota Department of Commerce website.

Applicants with questions regarding this request for proposals should contact Brandon Johnson at brandon.johnson@state.mn.us. Any media inquiries should be directed to Matt Swenson at matt.swenson@state.mn.us.