There's been a rash of vehicle thefts in Woodbury, which has police reminding residents to take the keys out of their cars.
According to the Woodbury Public Safety Department, 21 vehicles were stolen over a 10-day period from July 30 through Aug. 9.
On Aug. 4, the department tweeted at 9:46 p.m. that there had been 14 vehicles stolen in the last "several" days, including five in the past two hours.
Of the 21 stolen vehicles, 14 were taken from driveways and seven were stolen from garages. There were also seven reported attempts where vehicles were entered but not stolen.
Police said these crimes are happening during the day and are "all about opportunity" because the keys are left in the vehicles.
Woodbury isn't alone in this. Communities across the Twin Cities metro have been dealing with a rash of motor vehicle thefts in recent months.
In Plymouth, from July 1-23, police handled 19 reports of stolen vehicles, some of which were stolen out of people's garages, and 31 incidents of thefts from inside a vehicle.
The City of Wayzata in July also reported an increase in thefts of vehicles, prompting two crime alerts reminding residents to lock their car doors and not leave their keys inside, even if they're parked in the garage.
"Woodbury and other metro departments have developed suspects and there have been arrests," Woodbury Public Safety said, noting they have been "scouring" neighborhoods to find suspects.
Officers have also been working on educating residents about prevention: lock your vehicles, take your keys with you, close your garage doors — even if you're home, and call 911 if you see any suspicious activity.
In 2020, motor vehicle theft rose 19.7% in Minnesota, with 13,662 vehicles stolen, marking the highest number of stolen vehicles since 2005, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's Uniform Crime Report shows. Of the incidents, 10% or 1,432 motor vehicle thefts were cleared by arrest; 207 involved the arrest of a juvenile.