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Important Theft Prevention Tips from the MPD

February 19, 2021 (MINNEAPOLIS) – Please Take Note: Across the Twin Cities, there has been an alarming rise in Car Jackings, Auto Theft and Theft from Motor Vehicle, which includes license plates and catalytic converter theft.

The Minneapolis Police Department urges you to remain vigilant to any suspicious activity around your car. Suspicious activity may include people walking or driving up and down the street, alley or through garages/parking ramps and surface lots. Behavior may also include looking closely at vehicles or crawling underneath them. Please call 911 to immediately report locations and the descriptions of suspicious Individuals and/or their vehicles.

Catalytic Converters

  • Converters can be sawed off vehicles in a matter of minutes. Vehicles with a higher ground clearance, such as AWD trucks, SUVs and mini vans are especially vulnerable.
  • Whenever possible, park you vehicle in a locked garage.
  • Park your vehicle in well-lit areas. Add additional security lighting where needed.
  • Install video cameras where you park.
  • Etch or engrave your License Plate number and/or VIN onto your Catalytic Converter.
  • Spray paint your converter with brightly colored, heat resistant paint. This could help in making it easily identifiable at a scrap yard.
  • Set your car alarm to be more sensitive to detect tampering.
  • Install an aftermarket anti-theft device. These are designed to make it more difficult for a thief to remove the converter. Several different versions are available through Auto Parts stores and online.
  • Talk to your mechanic or vehicle dealership for anti-theft devices specific to your vehicle make and model.
  • If you are a business that operates a fleet of vehicles, consider securing them in a yard with high, locked fencing. Again, higher ground vehicles are more vulnerable to Catalytic Converter theft.

Auto Theft and License Plates

  • Auto Theft Prevention has been a citywide focus. Never leave your car running and unattended. A cold car is better than no car. ALWAYS take your keys and/or FOB with you. DO NOT leave your keys in your vehicle even if you are in an accessed controlled parking facility or your own garage.
  • Because about 70% of vehicles are still being stolen with keys or FOBs in the vehicle, thieves are also stealing license plates to put on stolen cars. Check the front and back of your car frequently to make sure your plates have not been tampered with.
  • Thieves will also swap plates. They look for vehicles that match the same make and model of the vehicle that was just stolen. Make sure the plates on your vehicle are indeed yours. It is possible you could be pulled over by law enforcement in a felony stop because a swapped plate matches that of a stolen vehicle.
  • Secure your plate with tamper resistant security screws. This will make it more difficult to remove your plate.

Call 311 to access the name and email of the Crime Prevention Specialist serving your area.