It's not even February, and already 2020 has been a busy year for car thieves in Minneapolis.
In the first three weeks of January, 262 cars were stolen in the city — or about 13 cars per day, according to a news release from Minneapolis police.
As the department points out, there's a pattern to the crimes, with the following leaving drivers and their cars particularly vulnerable:
- Leaving car running before leaving for a destination
- Food delivery people and others out of their car for “just a moment”
- Key fobs being left in the car (crime of opportunity)
According to the tweet above, the crimes are indicative of an "abnormally high" uptick in car thefts, with police saying they represent a 90 percent increase over thefts reported this same time last year.
What's more, it's "well above the 5-year average for this same time frame," which is 171 stolen cars.
This all comes amid an upward trend of auto thefts over the last few years, with the release noting a nearly 30 percent increase in year-end auto thefts from 2018 to 2019, and continuing increases into 2020.
If you're wondering which areas were hardest hit this month, department data shows that most of the incidents took place in the 3rd and 4th police precincts — southeast Minneapolis and northwest Minneapolis, respectively.