These are the Cities with the Most Car Thefts

Car thief trying to enter window

While car theft has decreased somewhat over the last decade, in some cities, cars are still stolen at dangerously high rates.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), 721,885 vehicles were stolen in the United States last year. If spread evenly throughout the year, approximately 2,000 will occur each day. Although much lower than in the 1990s when motor vehicle theft reached its peak, the rate of car theft has hardly changed in the last decade. In fact, car theft was only 2.4 percent since 2010 last year.

The coronovirus epidemic has also provoked significant changes in driving habits over the past year. Many people across the country are driving less due to shelter. With cars idling for long periods, drivers across the country are more at risk of automotive theft than ever before; In fact, many thieves will steal a car right outside the owner’s driveway.

Car theft has significant consequences at both the individual and community levels. The majority of Americans rely on their car to buy food or work, and the loss of this transport capacity can be devastating. Also, replacing a stolen car is expensive, even with auto insurance. In addition to the upfront cost of a deductible, insurance premiums may increase substantially after the event. The entire community also experiences the harmful consequences of car theft, which is associated with increased crime rates; Thieves often use stolen cars to commit additional crimes.

Insurify researchers cited data from the National Insurance Crimes Bureau (NICB) to determine the top 20 cities with the most car thefts per capita. In the interest of public safety and awareness, this report also concludes with simple and cost-effective steps drivers can take to protect against car theft.

Heat map of twenty cities with the highest rate of car theft per capita.


  • National average. All cities in the United States have an average car theft rate 207.18 Vehicle theft per 100,000 residents. In 20 cities experiencing the highest incidence of car theft, the average car theft rate is more than twice, but Is 535.91 Vehicle theft per 100,000 residents.
  • California Carjacker. Golden State has been given a tough competition this year, with cases ranging from wildfire to COVID-19. Unfortunately, susceptibility to car theft is no exception. A ah ten Twenty cities with the highest motor vehicle theft rates are located below Interstate 5 in California, all the way from Redding in the north to Riverside in the south. In fact, their proximity to major highways such as the I5 makes for an easy gateway for car thieves, who can cover considerable ground or even cross state lines within a short period of time. In addition, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) implementation of the state’s Public Safety Recovery Act led to an increase in car theft in the state, which led to prisons releasing prisoners in early 2011.
  • Cities with the least car theft. On the opposite side of the spectrum are cities with the lowest car theft rate in the country. This year, according to the latest figures, these cities are Lahina, Hawaii; Glen Falls, New York; And State College, Pennsylvania. These three MSAs have reported 0, Is 17.58, And 19.09 According to the latest figures, car theft of 100,000 residents respectively.

modus operandi

Insurify’s data scientist, a site to compile data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) on auto theft rates in all 384 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) in the United States. From this data, they identified the top twenty cities reporting the highest number of auto theft incidents per 100,000 residents. Insurify’s data scientists also calculated the average motor vehicle theft rate across all 384 MSAs. From this number, they determined how auto theft occurred in these top 20 cities more often than the national average.

Population data for each of the top 20 cities were collected from the United States Census Bureau.

20 cities with the most car theft per capita

20. Chico, California

  • Population: 219,186
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 468.55 (2.26 times the national average)

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19. Denver-Aurora-Luckwood, Colorado MSA

  • Population: Is 2,967,239
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 474.95 (2.29 times the national average)

18. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California MSA

  • Population: Is 4,650,631
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 478.34 (2.31 times the national average)

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17. Stockton, California

  • Population: 762,148
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 483.63 (2.33 times the national average)

16. Tulsa, Oklahoma

  • Population: 998,626
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 483.86 (2.34 times the national average)

15. Lubbock, Texas

  • Population: 322,257
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 485.64 (2.34 times the national average)

14. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, California MSA

  • Population: Is 4,731,803
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 492.33 (2.38 times the national average)

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13. Vallejo, California

  • Population: 447,643
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 492.58 (2.38 times the national average)

12. Pueblo, Colorado

  • Population: Is 168,424
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 493.99 (2.38 times the national average)

11. Redding, California

  • Population: 180,080
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 503.67 (2.43 times the national average)

10. Springfield, Missouri

  • Population: Rs 470,300
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 514.57 (2.48 times the national average)

9. Yakima, Washington

  • Population: Is 250,873
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 528.16 (2.55 times the national average)

8. Merger, California

  • Population: 277,680
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 534.07 (2.58 times the national average)

7. Yuba City, California

  • Population: Is 175,639
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 546.01 (2.64 times the national average)

6. Topeka, Kansas

  • Population: Is 231,969
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 557.4 (2.69 times the national average)

5. Odessa, Texas

  • Population: Is 166,223
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 569.11 (2.75 times the national average)

4. Modesto, California

  • Population: Is 550,660
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 573.13 (2.77 times the national average)

3. St. Joseph, Missouri-Kansas M.S.A.

  • Population: 125,223
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 614.90 (2.97 times the national average)

2. Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Population: Is 918,018
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 697.05 (3.36 times the national average)

1. Bakersfield, California

  • Population: 900,202
  • Motor vehicle theft per 100k: 726.28 (3.5 times the national average)

How to prevent car theft

  • Never leave your car running and unclaimed: Driving your vehicle and leaving without a license is like waiting for someone to steal your car. Even if locked and running, your vehicle is still overcrowded; Most thieves are experienced professionals who are able to dismantle a car within a minute.
  • GPS Tracking: Only about half of stolen vehicles are recovered, so installing a GPS tracking device inside your vehicle can mean the difference between fixing it and losing it forever. Priced between $ 50 and $ 150, GPS tracking devices are incredibly cost effective compared to the headache and cost of replacing a stolen vehicle. Needless to say, they pay for themselves many times in the event that an auto theft occurs.
  • Install an anti-theft system: Most recently manufactured cars come with decent safety systems. However, this alone may not be enough to deter a thief, especially given how advanced the technology used by many professional car thieves has become. Kill switches, steering wheel locks, or brake locks can significantly reduce the chances of your car getting stolen. Some auto insurance providers also offer discounts on purchases of devices like these.

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Updated February 4, 2021

Insight Insights

Insurys’ team of data scientists and materials experts presents Insurite Insights, a series of automotive, home and health studies that impact all of us. Through expert analysis of over 2.5 million car insurance applications and an array of top data sources, the Insurify Insights team produces new data-driven articles, trend analysis, regional exaggeration and national rankings every week. Check out Insight as shown in Forbes, Fox News, USA Today, NPR and more.