New Commerce Department campaign aims to prevent vehicle thefts

As the number of vehicle thefts rises across Minnesota, the state’s Commerce Department has unveiled a new campaign aimed at slowing the surge.

Monday morning, the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Fraud Bureau unveiled its “Take Your Keys ALWAYS” campaign.

According to the department, more than 16,000 vehicles were stolen statewide last year, representing more than $200 million in losses to the victims. A majority of vehicle thefts involve keys being left inside the vehicles, including those left running and unoccupied by the owners, police say.

Officials say the campaign was developed with help from local law enforcement.

“With this campaign, we’re asking car owners and drivers to join with us and take action to help prevent auto thefts,” Jacqueline Olson, the Commerce Department’s assistant commissioner of enforcement, said in a statement.

The department says the campaign will be featured across television, radio, gas stations, social media and other locations across the state to urge Minnesotans to do their part in preventing vehicle thefts.

The agency adds that vehicle thefts impact all Minnesotans, even those who haven’t had their vehicle stolen, because they contribute to rising insurance premiums for all.

More information about the campaign is available online.