Violent crimes down across Minnesota last year but vehicle thefts at highest since 2001, report shows

A newly released report shows that violent crimes were down across the board throughout the state last year but one property crime reached its highest total in more than 20 years.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) released its 2022 Uniform Crime Report on Monday. The report uses data from local law enforcement agencies across the state and summarizes that information.

Compared to 2021, the report shows that violent crimes were down by 8.6% statewide — 12.9% in Greater Minnesota and 6.9% in the metro area. Additionally, murders decreased by 9.5% (from 201 in 2021 to 182 in 2022), aggravated assaults dropped by 5.7% and rape reports were down 5.8%.

Additionally, the report says bias-motivated incidents dropped by 29% (from 238 in 2021 to 168 in 2022), larceny reports dropped by 4.3%, burglaries dropped by 15.8%, arsons dropped by 12.2% and instances of peace officers being assaulted dropped by 5%.

The one area that increased last year, according to the report, was vehicle thefts.

A total of 16,743 vehicle thefts were reported across the state last year. That’s up 12.9% from 2021 and is the highest total of vehicle thefts in a single year since 2001, the BCA says.

That figure doesn’t include carjackings, which are counted under a separate category and saw a 23.2% decrease last year (from 779 in 2021 to 598 in 2022).

RELATED: Year-to-date auto thefts have more than doubled in Minneapolis, police say

The jump in auto thefts tracks with past reports from law enforcement and the issue has continued into this year. However, the BCA’s report shows the increase isn’t exactly new, as vehicle theft reports have risen each year since 2018.

Last year alone, the BCA says stolen vehicles accounted for more than $96 million in lost property value. While nearly half of that value was recovered, only 1,153 of the thefts resulted in arrests, including 155 solely responsible juveniles.

The report also includes data on the number of use-of-force incidents where an officer fired their weapon (down from 25 in 2021 to 18 last year), the number of traffic pursuits (2,768) and law enforcement staffing levels, which increased slightly last year for both police departments and sheriff’s offices.

To see the full report, click here.

Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove), the lead Republican on the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, released the following statement:

“Let’s not get too comfy, too fast with a one-year decrease in violent crime. Just this year, police reports have revealed car thefts more than doubled in the city of Minneapolis. The report shows aggravated assaults increased by 55%, car theft by 66% and murders by 75% since 2018.

“Many judges and prosecutors are not holding criminals accountable for the crimes they have committed against our innocent citizens. Additionally, recent legislative changes did nothing to help our law enforcement with their efforts to keep citizens safe. Rather than give law enforcement the tools and support they need to do their jobs, Democrats passed a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ public safety bill that puts more criminals back on the street with a shorter prison time.”

Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park), chairman of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, released the following statement:

“An 8.6% decrease in the rate of violent crime is good news for our state. I’m optimistic this trend continues following our investments in areas of public safety that target the root causes of crime and that provide our partners in law enforcement with the tools they need to succeed. Every Minnesotan deserves to feel safe in their communities, and we will continue to work towards that goal and build on this success.”