The Dakota County Sheriff’s Office and the Dakota County Electronic Crimes Task Force have received $56,000 in grant funding to further auto theft investigations for July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021.

The grant funding is provided by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, through a surcharge collected from automobile insurance carriers that provide comprehensive insurance coverage in Minnesota. These funds will be used to equip investigators with the latest technology and training that will ultimately hold offenders accountable. In 2018, Dakota County had 475 reported auto thefts, affecting the lives and finances of each victim.

“A vehicle is one of the largest investments a person makes. In Minnesota approximately 23 vehicles are stolen daily, most occurring during the night as owners sleep. Auto theft is big business! New vehicles are not the only targets for car thieves – older models are also very desirable. Thieves look for vehicles that can be resold quickly or stripped for parts. In most cases, a vehicle’s parts are worth two to three times the value of the vehicle,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a statement.

“These grant funds will assist law enforcement in gathering evidence that will lead to prosecuting these crimes so we can hold these offenders accountable and reduce auto thefts in our community.”

Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie said, “As a progressive law enforcement agency the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office is excited for this opportunity to both deploy additional investigative tools and to partner with our allied agencies to further our mission of public safety and offender accountability.”

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