Vehicle thefts in the Twin Cities have fallen almost 50 percent since 2005, as “smart keys” equipped with computer chips, GPS tracking and other technology to thwart thieves have become standard equipment on most newer cars and trucks, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The new technology is so effective that if a newer car is reported stolen, the owner either left the keys in it or they're “trying to bamboozle their insurance company,” said one detective.
A Star Tribune analysis of 10 years of crime data from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety found that auto theft is down nearly across the board, mirroring the same trend nationally, as new cars equipped with anti-theft technology have appeared in more driveways nationwide. In the seven-county metro area, vehicle thefts fell just shy of 50 percent, from 11,776 in 2005 to 5,923 in 2011, before bouncing back slightly in 2012. Minneapolis’ numbers dropped more than 55 percent during the same period, to 1,775 in 2011. St. Paul's numbers dropped a more modest 26 percent, to a low of 1,805 in 2012.