Theft prevention grant awarded

The Washington County Board of Commissioners approved a grant agreement Jan. 3 with the Minnesota Commissioner of Commerce, which will provide the sheriff’s office with $58,946 for auto theft prevention programs in 2012. The money will be used to purchase two Automatic License Plate Reader units, set up patrol units to accept the information that they collect, and train personnel on the system. With the ALPR units, sheriff’s office personnel hope to reduce the incidence of auto theft, increase the recovery rate of stolen vehicles and the number of auto theft cases prosecuted or convicted, and closed, and increase public awareness of auto theft.