As St. Paul carjackings and auto thefts decline, more grant funding helps maintain progress

13 July 2023

With declines in carjackings and auto thefts in St. Paul, Ramsey County officials said it’s a sign their efforts are working and they announced Thursday they’ve received additional state grant funding to continue.

The Ramsey County Youth Auto Theft Intervention Project began in 2021. The goals are “to interrupt auto thefts and carjackings before they happen, hold offenders accountable, and help young people involved in these offenses connect with services designed to keep them from reoffending,” the Ramsey County attorney’s and sheriff’s offices said in a Thursday statement.

The sheriff’s office Carjacking and Auto Theft unit was started as part of the project to respond to carjackings and auto thefts across Ramsey County. In the original two-year grant period, the team found more than 350 stolen vehicles with a value of more than $6 million, according to the sheriff’s office.

Also part of the project is the African American Leadership Council, which employs “community navigators to connect with involved youth and their families to help address their underlying challenges,” the Thursday statement said.

There were 73 carjackings in St. Paul in 2020, 101 in 2021 and 53 last year, according to police department data. Seventeen have been reported so far this year, compared to 37 at this time last year and the lowest year-to-date since 2020.

Meanwhile, there were 3,236 auto thefts reported in St. Paul last year, up 21 percent compared with 2021. But they’ve been trending downward this year. There have 1,292 auto thefts reported year-to-date, a 31 percent decrease from the same time last year.

The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners approved the new grant funding Tuesday from the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Auto Theft Prevention Program. It will run through June 2025.

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