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This Minnesota police department sent an alert about what some residents are doing that makes it way too easy for thieves to steal their vehicles.

While violent crimes have been increasing not only here in Minnesota but across the country over the last few years, vehicle thefts are increasing as well, and the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) sent an alert earlier this year about what some of its residents did that made their vehicles sitting ducks for car thieves.

According to CBS Minnesota, MPD said 700 cars were stolen in Minnesota's biggest city this January alone and-- here's the kicker-- many of them were left running unattended, unlocked, with the keys or a key fob still inside.

And they were stolen?!? You don't say!

We'd all like to think, living here in Minnesota, that we can just go out and start our cars to let them warm up during the winter or cool down during the summer and have them still be there when we come back a few minutes later, right?

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Well, sadly, police say, that's just almost literally inviting a car thief to jump in your car and drive away these days. I mean, heck, they don't even have to break in... those vehicles were just sitting there, unlocked, already running!

And, while not being the best thing to do, technically, it's against the law too. That's right, according to state law here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, it's actually illegal to warm up or cool down your car if you leave it running unattended.

Of course, vehicle thefts-- particularly in the winter-- aren't new, either. Last year, the Saint Paul Police Department responded to a rash of 11 stolen cars in a single week-- and 7 of them were left running, unattended.

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Being able to leave our cars running while they warm up or cool down harkens back to a simpler time, doesn't it? Kind of like the time when you first started driving. And speaking of that, do you remember what gas cost when you first got your driver's license? Keep scrolling to find out!

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LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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