MINNEAPOLIS — Julie has always been good about locking her car.

"I'll get up in the middle of the night and check it, just because i get nervous, the south Minneapolis resident said.

So she was quite shocked one morning recently when she looked outside and her new Subaru Forester was gone.

"It is a new car. This can't be happening!" she said.

Julie became victim of a car theft, a crime that is increasing around the country and in Minnesota.

"Minnesota traditionally is not a hotbed of auto theft activity, but we did notice recent statistics that there has been a spike here in Minnesota, particularly in the Twin Cities, about a 30 percent increase in auto thefts over the last three years," said Mark Kulda with the Insurance Federation of Minnesota.

Top Cars Stolen in Minnesota in 2017

  1. 1999 Honda Civic
  2. 1997 Honda Accord
  3. 1999 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
  4. 2000 Honda CR-V
  5. 2001 Ford Pickup (Full Size)
  6. 1999 Toyota Camry
  7. 2008 Chevrolet Impala
  8. 1997 Toyota Corolla
  9. 2005 Dodge Caravan
  10. 2005 Chevrolet Malibu 

Kulda said the problem could soon affect everyone.

"If that trend continues, we might start to see that reflected in higher premiums," Kulda said.

"The days of hotwiring cars are over," said St. Paul Police Sgt. Jason Brubaker.

Brubaker said in the winter, half of the stolen cars were left running or with the key in the ignition. 

In the summer, he says thieves are getting craftier at starting those late-90s models without having access to your key.

"It's a pretty simple technique for them now," Brubaker said.

Julie was able to get her car back. Since it's so new, the dealer could track it.

"They left their charger, their receipt from their fast food, I had coats in here," Julie said.

But her experience has her changing her habits.

"I'm going to park in the garage," Julie said.