Police: Car thefts up nearly 90% in Minneapolis over same time period last year

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Car thefts in the city of Minneapolis are up nearly 90% in the first three weeks of 2020 when compared to the same time frame in 2019, according to police.

During a press conference Friday, the Minneapolis Police Department announced that 262 cars have been stolen in the first three weeks of the new year. That total is nearly 90% higher than the amount of cars stolen during the same time frame last year, the department said.

A police spokesman said that nearly 73% of the auto thefts this year are the result of cars left running while unattended. Police urged drivers to refrain from leaving their cars running while unattended and warned that Minneapolis has an open ignition law allowing citations for unattended running vehicles.

Along with leaving cars unattended while running, police noticed two other trends in the thefts: food delivery drivers out of their car for longer than expected and leaving fobs in cars.

According to police, there is no trend in specific types of vehicles being stolen, the crimes simply appear to be crimes of opportunity.

St. Paul Police issued a similar warning to drivers in December after a rash of stolen vehicle reports.

Police urge people to not leave vehicles running and unattended after recent thefts