15 Cities with the Most Car Theft [Study: Trends & Totals]

Albuquerque, New Mexico, ranks No. 1 city in our list of the cities with the most vehicle thefts, with a motor vehicle theft rate of 1,181 vehicles per 100,000 residents. Overall, Albuquerque experienced 6,616 vehicle thefts in 2018. On top of that, the number of city motor vehicle thefts rose by 27.7 percent in the past three years.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Driving is one of the most common forms of transportation in the country. In fact, research from the Federal Highway Administration shows there are more than 268 million motor vehicles registered nationwide. While drivers are often concerned about their safety behind the wheel, there is another danger that drivers should be wary of — car theft.

According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report, nearly 750,000 cars were stolen in the United States in 2018 based on the number of auto theft reports. This article covers the 15 cities with the highest vehicle theft rates.

Interestingly, the number of car thefts per capita has fallen steadily since the new millennium, dropping by almost half between 1999 and 2014. This parallels a similar trend in which overall violent crimes per capita decreased during the same time frame. However, motor vehicle theft has been slowly on the rise over the past few years.

In 2018, the number of automobile thefts per capita was about 6 percent higher than in 2014.

Not surprisingly, car theft comes with a hefty financial cost for victims. The FBI reports that the average value of a stolen car in 2018 was $8,407, indicating that new and expensive cars are not the only vehicles at risk of theft. When a car is stolen, victims are usually able to recoup the loss through their insurance; however, individuals and families without comprehensive auto insurance must cover the cost on their own.

Law enforcement agencies suggest parking in well-lit areas, consider equipping your car with an anti-theft device, not leaving valuables visible, and making sure to lock your car and take your keys with you. Quick tip: Make sure that if you ever are unfortunate enough to experience actual car theft, make sure to report it to your insurance company after reporting it to law enforcement. They may need a copy of your police report.

While car theft may seem like a problem usually faced by populous cities with many drivers, there is almost no relationship between city size and the likelihood of having a car stolen.

For example, cities such as Los Angeles and Miami have some of the highest total numbers of stolen vehicles, but their large populations cause car thefts per capita to be relatively low.

Instead, car thefts per capita tend to be highest in cities with high overall crime rates, especially high rates of violent crime such as murder and manslaughter.

Nationwide, car theft is the fourth most common crime (after burglary and aggravated assault), representing 8.9 percent of all crimes.

For comparison, the most common crime (according to data from police departments) is larceny-theft, which makes up about 62 percent of all crimes, and the least common crimes are murder and manslaughter, at 0.2 percent.


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Interestingly, cities can experience a significant rise or fall in car thefts over a short period of time, even as short as three years. By contrast, changes in violent crime rates happen on a much smaller scale within the same time frame.

This suggests that car theft is more easily impacted by factors such as policy change (e.g. stricter punishments) or changes in the economic environment, while violent crimes including robbery and assault are more difficult to uproot.

Not surprisingly, car theft per capita remains high in cities with a large proportion of residents living below the poverty line. Cities that experienced a rise in unemployment in the last three years tended to see a simultaneous increase in car thefts.

At the same time, cities that managed to reduce unemployment also enjoyed a fall in car thefts per capita. It is interesting to look at it this way as older, more affordable cars would not have the same vehicle theft prevention features that a new might.

Consequently, an effective method to protect Americans’ cars might be to support access to education and training programs, which increase access to jobs and reduce poverty.

Given the recent uptick in the national car theft rate, analysts here at BuyAutoInsurance.com wanted to find which cities have the most vehicle thefts and what factors might be relevant when tackling this issue.

The researchers used data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report as well as the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for the analysis. Cities were ordered by their respective car theft rates per 100k residents.

Cities with high theft rates can cause auto insurance rates to rise. Fortunately, even if you live in a city where the risk of your car being stolen is higher than normal, there are many ways you can save and lower your auto insurance rate.

If you live in an area with high vehicle theft rates, enter your ZIP code into our online quote comparison tool to find the best auto insurance rates in your area. You can also check out our buy auto insurance page to get started in your search for lower auto insurance premiums.

Let’s dive into the car theft capitals of the U.S.

What are the 15 cities with the highest car theft rates?

#15 – Cleveland, OH

  • Car theft rate: 772 per 100k
  • Total number of car thefts: 2,970
  • 3-year change in car theft rate: Not available
  • Violent crime rate: 1,450 per 100k
  • Poverty rate: 33.1%
  • Unemployment rate: 12.5%
  • 3-year change in unemployment rate: -6.0%

#14 – Des Moines, IA

  • Car theft rate: 772 per 100k
  • Total number of car thefts: 243
  • 3-year change in car theft rate: 33.5%
  • Violent crime rate: 353 per 100k
  • Poverty rate: 14.6%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.4%
  • 3-year change in unemployment rate: -2.5%

#13 – Salinas, CA

  • Car theft rate: 774 per 100k
  • Total number of car thefts: 1,227
  • 3-year change in car theft rate: -36.5%
  • Violent crime rate: 619 per 100k
  • Poverty rate: 13.6%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.6%
  • 3-year change in unemployment rate: -2.0%

#12 – Chattanooga, TN

  • Car theft rate: 789 per 100k
  • Total number of car thefts: 1,424
  • 3-year change in car theft rate: 62.2%
  • Violent crime rate: 1,048 per 100k
  • Poverty rate: 16.7%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.0%
  • 3-year change in unemployment rate: -3.7%

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#11 – Tulsa, OK

  • Car theft rate: 808 per 100k
  • Total number of car thefts: 3,259
  • 3-year change in car theft rate: 22.9%
  • Violent crime rate: 1,065 per 100k
  • Poverty rate: 19.5%
  • Unemployment rate: 6.8%
  • 3-year change in unemployment rate: 1.2%

#10 – Hayward, CA

  • Car theft rate: 845 per 100k
  • Total number of car thefts: 1,376
  • 3-year change in car theft rate: -0.9%
  • Violent crime rate: 411 per 100k
  • Poverty rate: 6.0%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.3%
  • 3-year change in unemployment rate: -3.7%

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#9 – Tacoma, WA

  • Car theft rate: 870 per 100k
  • Total number of car thefts: 1,877
  • 3-year change in car theft rate: -7.1%
  • Violent crime rate: 867 per 100k
  • Poverty rate: 14.9%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.9%
  • 3-year change in unemployment rate: -2.8%

#8 – Springfield, MO

  • Car theft rate: 872 per 100k
  • Total number of car thefts: 1,470
  • 3-year change in car theft rate: 17.4%
  • Violent crime rate: 1,316 per 100k
  • Poverty rate: 22.3%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.0%
  • 3-year change in unemployment rate: -1.1%

#7 – St. Louis, MO

  • Car theft rate: 896 per 100k
  • Total number of car thefts: 2,750
  • 3-year change in car theft rate: -12.6%
  • Violent crime rate: 1,800 per 100k
  • Poverty rate: 20.3%
  • Unemployment rate: 7.0%
  • 3-year change in unemployment rate: -5.0%

#6 – Detroit, MI

  • Car theft rate: 961 per 100k
  • Total number of car thefts: 6,454
  • 3-year change in car theft rate: 23.7%
  • Violent crime rate: 2,008 per 100k
  • Poverty rate: 34.5%
  • Unemployment rate: 15.8%
  • 3-year change in unemployment rate: -5.7%

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#5 – Anchorage, AK

  • Car theft rate: 967 per 100k
  • Total number of car thefts: 2,823
  • 3-year change in car theft rate: 144.6%
  • Violent crime rate: 1,310 per 100k
  • Poverty rate: 9.9%
  • Unemployment rate: 5.7%
  • 3-year change in unemployment rate: 0.1%

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#4 – San Bernardino, CA

  • Car theft rate: 1,006 per 100k
  • Total number of car thefts: 2,194
  • 3-year change in car theft rate: -27.3%
  • Violent crime rate: 1,333 per 100k
  • Poverty rate: 22.7%
  • Unemployment rate: 11.5%
  • 3-year change in unemployment rate: -4.0%

#3 – Portland, OR

  • Car theft rate: 1,055 per 100k
  • Total number of car thefts: 6,932
  • 3-year change in car theft rate: Not available
  • Violent crime rate: 520 per 100k
  • Poverty rate: 14.7%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.5%
  • 3-year change in unemployment rate: -2.7%

#2 – Oakland, CA

  • Car theft rate: 1,179 per 100k
  • Total number of car thefts: 5,071
  • 3-year change in car theft rate: -20.6%
  • Violent crime rate: 1,274 per 100k
  • Poverty rate: 15.3%
  • Unemployment rate: 6.8%
  • 3-year change in unemployment rate: -0.8%

#1 – Albuquerque, NM

  • Car theft rate: 1,181 per 100k
  • Total number of car thefts: 6,616
  • 3-year change in car theft rate: 27.7%
  • Violent crime rate: 1,365 per 100k
  • Poverty rate: 15.2%
  • Unemployment rate: 4.8%
  • 3-year change in unemployment rate: -3.4%

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Complete Results by City

CityRankTheft RateTotal TheftsTheft 3yr ChangeViolent Crime RatePoverty RateUnemployment RateUnemployment 3yr Change
Albuquerque, NM11,1816,61627.7%1,36515.2%4.8%-3.4%
Oakland, CA21,1795,071-20.6%1,27415.3%6.8%-0.8%
Portland, OR31,0556,93252014.7%4.5%-2.7%
San Bernardino, CA41,0062,194-27.3%1,33322.7%11.5%-4.0%
Anchorage, AK59672,823144.6%1,3109.9%5.7%0.1%
Detroit, MI69616,45423.7%2,00834.5%15.8%-5.7%
St. Louis, MO78962,750-12.6%1,80020.3%7.0%-5.0%
Springfield, MO88721,47017.4%1,31622.3%5.0%-1.1%
Tacoma, WA98701,877-7.1%86714.9%4.9%-2.8%
Hayward, CA108451,376-0.9%4116.0%3.3%-3.7%
Tulsa, OK118083,25922.9%1,06519.5%6.8%1.2%
Chattanooga, TN127891,42462.2%1,04816.7%4.0%-3.7%
Salinas, CA137741,227-36.5%61913.6%4.6%-2.0%
Des Moines, IA1477224333.5%35314.6%4.4%-2.5%
Cleveland, OH157722,9701,45033.1%12.5%-6.0%
Milwaukee, WI167704,589-37.8%1,41325.0%6.3%-4.3%
Spokane, WA177691,678-3.9%79818.0%4.3%-2.2%
New Orleans, LA187552,99419.0%1,16326.2%7.0%-3.3%
St. Paul, MN197412,29631.4%62718.7%4.7%-2.8%
Salt Lake City, UT207371,493-32.1%73017.4%4.0%-1.9%
San Jose, CA217367,70410.0%4248.4%4.5%-2.2%
Denver, CO227325,27520.8%73012.2%3.2%-1.4%
Baltimore, MD237234,375-20.8%1,83322.2%7.6%-4.2%
Bakersfield, CA247202,77716.0%49117.8%8.7%0.0%
Newark, NJ257142,01573327.8%11.7%-3.6%
Dallas, TX267099,66027.2%76518.5%5.2%-1.4%
Wichita, KS277082,77335.6%1,18016.6%6.7%-0.2%
Memphis, TN286824,45063.2%1,94324.6%8.5%-1.4%
Pomona, CA296711,030-18.0%57120.2%6.0%-5.9%
Atlanta, GA306673,308-22.7%76919.3%6.6%-3.6%
Omaha, NE316653,12322.8%56013.0%4.4%-1.5%
Stockton, CA326562,0543.3%1,40019.3%6.6%-7.3%
Jackson, MS336361,0565.2%23.8%12.6%1.2%
Vancouver, WA346061,07623.5%46113.2%6.0%-3.2%
Aurora, CO355932,21075.3%72810.7%4.6%-1.9%
Moreno Valley, CA365771,2063.9%37114.5%9.0%-5.8%
Mesquite, TX37570824-4.2%39611.0%3.8%-2.4%
Knoxville, TN385691,07442.1%79923.8%4.3%-2.8%
Sacramento, CA395692,883-1.4%65715.6%8.2%-1.9%
Dayton, OH4056779516.4%92230.7%11.4%-4.7%
Ontario, CA415651,003-5.9%37713.1%7.1%-1.7%
Indianapolis, IN425644,947-0.9%1,27317.5%6.3%-2.6%
Little Rock, AR435621,12022.3%1,44614.7%2.9%-3.2%
Riverside, CA445571,8455.2%50912.8%7.3%-4.9%
Oklahoma City, OK455563,63025.3%86715.8%4.6%-1.5%
Modesto, CA465551,198-31.0%88212.6%8.2%-6.5%
Seattle, WA475444,0424.2%68011.1%3.8%-0.4%
Salem, OR4852289826.3%41816.3%4.9%-4.1%
Thornton, CO4952072618.0%2718.2%3.7%-1.5%
Minneapolis, MN505112,19027.5%79318.3%4.1%-2.2%
Houston, TX5151011,949-11.9%1,02620.6%6.2%-0.3%
Colorado Springs, CO525092,39938.9%55512.8%6.0%-1.1%
Montgomery, AL5348997231.2%61223.4%5.0%-5.5%
North Las Vegas, NV544861,19923.7%96615.3%7.1%-1.9%
Long Beach, CA554842,279-19.5%69816.6%6.4%-3.5%
Las Vegas, NV564837,9490.6%60514.5%5.8%-4.4%
Tucson, AZ574782,56833.1%73722.1%8.3%-1.5%
Fort Lauderdale, FL584788708.3%55218.8%7.7%-2.2%
San Francisco, CA594744,217-39.0%69110.0%3.6%-2.5%
Phoenix, AZ604737,8156.0%73316.8%5.5%-2.7%
Santa Ana, CA614621,549-17.0%46815.4%4.7%-2.7%
Lancaster, CA6245473047.8%74217.2%4.9%-5.1%
Amarillo, TX6345391016.2%80713.7%3.5%-0.1%
Nashville, TN644493,0821,11314.6%3.9%-2.4%
Fresno, CA654452,365-21.0%55523.7%9.2%-2.5%
Mobile, AL664421,08478.0%65720.8%4.0%-4.2%
Columbus, OH674393,91825.9%49519.8%5.0%-1.1%
Cincinnati, OH684341,31012.9%84027.7%5.7%-7.6%
Los Angeles, CA6943017,3167.2%74817.4%6.2%-2.8%
Honolulu, HI704274,1918.3%25010.3%3.2%-0.9%
Orlando, FL714251,2193.3%79618.2%5.5%-1.4%
Shreveport, LA7242581141.0%83229.3%8.5%1.0%
Baton Rouge, LA7342395092.3%92027.0%9.2%2.0%
Fontana, CA74422903-12.4%33113.4%7.3%-2.0%
Glendale, AZ754221,0540.5%46716.7%5.8%-1.2%
Reno, NV764161,0502.8%64812.7%5.2%-2.6%
Bridgeport, CT77407598-4.5%64420.4%12.0%-2.5%
Tallahassee, FL78399767-20.8%73023.6%7.5%-4.8%
San Antonio, TX793966,089-1.4%62717.3%5.0%-2.1%
Anaheim, CA803871,373-17.7%33615.9%4.8%-1.5%
Chicago, IL8137310,132-0.9%1,00618.6%8.3%-2.6%
Hollywood, FL823675707.5%23311.5%6.3%-0.7%
Akron, OH8336371819.9%86222.5%7.7%-1.1%
Washington, DC843632,549-20.2%94116.6%6.4%-2.5%
San Diego, CA853615,1821.7%37313.1%5.8%-1.5%
Philadelphia, PA863585,68012.8%90925.7%9.2%-3.6%
Syracuse, NY8735450660.1%70332.4%11.5%1.0%
Garden Grove, CA88350612-5.7%29015.3%2.8%-5.1%
Corona, CA8934859126.8%1559.7%4.3%-2.9%
Miami, FL903481,644-28.5%63022.7%7.3%-1.3%
Garland, TX913458279.7%27515.2%5.7%-3.6%
Buffalo, NY92338874-10.6%1,04329.6%8.2%-0.3%
Fullerton, CA933374751.7%23514.3%6.8%-1.0%
Fort Worth, TX943332,97231.6%50112.9%5.0%-1.4%
Jacksonville, FL953262,94127.0%59615.1%6.4%-2.1%
Charlotte, NC963253,02535.7%12.4%4.5%-4.7%
Lexington, KY973231,0515.2%30216.6%4.8%-1.7%
Norfolk, VA98322788103.6%46420.0%7.1%-2.1%
Escondido, CA99319488-19.5%35012.0%3.4%-2.6%
Palmdale, CA10031850310.5%37417.6%7.5%-3.9%
Eugene, OR101317542-0.9%38719.0%5.3%-0.6%
Arlington, TX1023091,23841.0%44515.7%4.2%-2.5%
Providence, RI1033065521.1%45522.3%7.6%-3.5%
Rockford, IL104306447-8.4%1,38619.6%12.0%-1.5%
Durham, NC10530382935.9%17.1%4.8%-1.1%
Sioux Falls, SD10630254429.8%4378.5%3.3%-1.6%
Paterson, NJ10730044173325.8%4.6%-2.0%
Irving, TX10829572019.6%20911.6%4.4%-1.5%
Hialeah, FL109293709-1.5%22022.5%3.9%-3.8%
Fremont, CA110287683-2.8%2114.4%4.2%-1.2%
Tempe, AZ11128553849.9%48422.1%5.1%-0.6%
St. Petersburg, FL112281746-51.0%62413.9%5.1%-1.3%
Corpus Christi, TX11327991678.6%75714.5%5.3%-0.4%
Newport News, VA11427649422.6%52717.6%6.6%-1.5%
Rochester, NY115276573-21.9%77832.3%9.5%-4.7%
Springfield, MA116275427-29.3%98927.9%9.4%-4.7%
Savannah, GA117271656-41.6%40521.0%6.0%-7.3%
Oceanside, CA118262465-0.4%37710.5%5.8%0.5%
Austin, TX1192612,5388.9%38213.1%3.5%-0.9%
Bellevue, WA12025938071.9%1326.5%3.5%-2.4%
Toledo, OH121257708-21.3%84824.5%9.3%-1.3%
Chula Vista, CA122251688-15.7%30411.5%10.5%0.6%
Grand Prairie, TX123246484-1.6%2529.8%4.1%-1.3%
Pittsburgh, PA12424172921.3%57920.2%5.4%-2.6%
Alexandria, VA12523838751.8%16011.7%3.3%-0.5%
Waco, TX126238328110.3%63624.3%6.5%0.1%
Charleston, SC12723732514.4%30311.7%2.5%-3.7%
Greensboro, NC12823267926.0%16.8%6.6%-0.1%
Sunnyvale, CA12922735319.3%1646.3%4.1%-0.9%
Pasadena, TX130224345-37.8%44118.6%10.5%3.1%
Jersey City, NJ13122360345614.5%5.3%-4.0%
Santa Rosa, CA132222392-12.7%46710.0%4.2%-1.9%
Rancho Cucamonga, CA133222398-8.9%1626.6%5.0%-2.1%
Clarksville, TN134220344109.8%66614.2%5.8%-1.7%
Henderson, NV13522068128.5%1888.3%4.5%-3.4%
Pasadena, CA136213306-5.3%38113.2%3.2%-2.0%
Orange, CA137213300-15.7%11314.4%3.1%-5.3%
Madison, WI138206532113.7%40418.7%2.8%-1.7%
Fort Wayne, IN13920554865.1%38315.8%6.0%-1.9%
Miramar, FL14019327620.0%23510.4%4.7%-4.1%
Torrance, CA141193283-10.7%1828.3%5.0%-0.8%
Worcester, MA142183340-14.1%68322.4%4.5%-4.9%
Overland Park, KS143177343-34.0%2275.1%3.0%-1.4%
Mesa, AZ1441718634.6%36415.0%4.6%-1.9%
Killeen, TX14516824943.1%39015.5%8.6%0.7%
Boston, MA1461661,154-9.8%62218.7%5.9%-2.1%
Huntington Beach, CA147152310-16.9%2119.2%4.0%-0.7%
Pembroke Pines, FL14813924012.7%1818.3%4.8%-2.4%
Santa Clarita, CA149136295-1.0%1359.7%4.9%-2.2%
Grand Rapids, MI150135270-7.2%65515.8%6.0%-1.9%
Glendale, CA151130266-24.6%9916.5%5.4%-3.5%
Plano, TX15212937337.1%1395.1%2.7%-3.0%
Virginia Beach, VA15312857732.6%1178.0%4.0%-1.3%
Chesapeake, VA154128310-4.9%4049.5%4.8%-2.4%
Peoria, AZ1551282175.9%2286.6%4.4%-1.7%
Chandler, AZ15612431723.8%2378.1%4.2%-0.9%
Olathe, KS157123171-14.1%2194.1%3.0%-1.5%
El Paso, TX1581198172.4%37119.3%6.6%-1.3%
Tampa, FL159117460-22.8%40718.6%5.5%-3.3%
Boise, ID160115264-1.5%27713.5%3.9%-1.3%
Fort Collins, CO161108181-23.9%23317.0%5.9%0.1%
Scottsdale, AZ16210727241.7%1667.8%3.1%-1.4%
Elk Grove, CA163102179-24.5%2377.7%5.5%-2.9%
Cape Coral, FL1649517827.1%14210.3%7.9%1.5%
Joliet, IL1659213715.1%3279.0%5.2%-1.4%
McKinney, TX16682156-1.9%1527.9%3.0%-2.3%
Yonkers, NY16777157-42.5%34815.4%5.6%-3.6%
Brownsville, TX16875139-2.8%37628.1%5.2%-1.9%
Frisco, TX16973138155.6%874.8%3.2%-0.8%
Irvine, CA17069198-1.5%5612.7%3.7%-2.0%
New York, NY171655,534-25.1%54118.0%6.4%-1.8%
Laredo, TX17264169-45.7%33727.2%3.6%-2.6%
Gilbert, AZ1736115210.9%955.6%3.0%-2.5%
Aurora, IL17461122-23.7%26710.5%5.1%-2.2%
McAllen, TX1753855-50.5%8521.4%5.7%-3.6%
Port St. Lucie, FL1763772-15.3%1136.7%3.9%-4.1%
Cary, NC177366212.7%5.6%2.5%-1.7%
Naperville, IL178263918.2%692.9%3.8%-1.3%
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Complete Results by State

StateRankTheft RateTotal TheftsTheft 3yr ChangeViolent Crime RatePoverty RateUnemployment RateUnemployment 3yr ChangePopulation
Alaska1541.93,99695.6%88511.1%7.6%0.0%737,438
New Mexico2485.810,17918.8%856.619.7%6.6%-2.1%2,095,428
Hawaii3397.75,649-1.5%248.69.5%4.2%-1.2%1,420,491
Oregon4395.116,55650.9%285.513.2%5.1%-2.7%4,190,713
California5392.4155,211-10.2%447.413.3%5.9%-2.6%39,557,045
Nevada6392.311,904-0.1%541.113.0%5.9%-3.0%3,034,392
Colorado7380.521,67329.8%397.210.3%4.2%-1.3%5,695,564
Washington8367.327,677-2.0%311.511.0%4.9%-1.6%7,535,591
Oklahoma9337.013,28926.1%466.115.8%5.4%-0.3%3,943,079
Missouri10323.419,81515.7%502.113.4%4.6%-2.2%6,126,452
Tennessee11301.920,43954.8%623.715.0%4.9%-2.9%6,770,010
South Carolina12281.914,3326.4%488.315.4%5.8%-2.3%5,084,127
Kansas13269.47,84412.8%43911.9%4.2%-1.0%2,911,505
Alabama14268.313,11226.1%519.616.9%5.8%-2.8%4,887,871
Arizona15266.919,1398.6%474.914.9%5.8%-2.1%7,171,646
Montana16263.22,79612.4%374.112.5%3.5%-1.4%1,062,305
Nebraska17252.64,87419.7%284.810.8%3.3%-0.9%1,929,268
Louisiana18247.611,53618.7%537.519.7%6.5%-1.0%4,659,978
Utah19244.57,728-15.9%233.19.7%3.6%-1.4%3,161,105
Texas20243.269,817-1.0%410.914.7%5.1%-1.0%28,701,845
Arkansas21236.07,11321.8%543.616.4%5.6%-1.2%3,013,825
Georgia22235.424,760-9.2%326.614.9%5.8%-2.5%10,519,475
North Dakota23233.51,77511.7%280.610.3%2.9%-0.1%760,077
Kentucky24229.610,26130.5%211.917.2%5.5%-2.1%4,468,402
Indiana25229.115,32812.2%382.313.5%4.7%-2.4%6,691,878
Connecticut26206.77,38317.1%207.49.6%6.1%-1.8%3,572,665
Maryland27200.912,137-8.2%468.79.3%5.2%-2.0%6,042,718
Florida28193.341,165-3.6%384.914.0%5.5%-2.5%21,299,325
Minnesota29180.510,12824.1%220.49.5%3.6%-1.1%5,611,179
Michigan30174.617,4519.9%449.414.2%5.9%-2.4%9,995,915
South Dakota31172.71,52424.8%404.713.0%3.5%-0.4%882,235
Ohio32170.319,90914.8%279.914.0%5.2%-2.0%11,689,442
North Carolina33169.817,63226.9%377.614.7%5.3%-3.0%10,383,620
Illinois34153.819,59312.0%404.112.6%6.1%-2.0%12,741,080
Delaware35152.61,47622.2%423.613.6%5.3%-1.4%967,171
Wisconsin36148.58,634-22.0%295.411.3%3.5%-1.8%5,813,568
Iowa37148.54,6876.8%250.110.7%3.6%-0.8%3,156,145
Wyoming38145.283943.8%212.211.3%5.2%0.9%577,737
Rhode Island39144.81,53110.1%219.111.6%5.7%-2.1%1,057,315
Mississippi40144.04,3001.6%234.419.8%7.0%-2.8%2,986,530
West Virginia41139.52,51914.9%289.919.1%6.7%-0.2%1,805,832
Virginia42126.510,77830.7%20010.6%4.6%-1.5%8,517,685
New Jersey43123.911,037-5.8%208.110.0%5.3%-2.2%8,908,520
Idaho44112.01,964-1.0%227.112.8%4.1%-1.4%1,754,208
Pennsylvania45102.413,1168.0%30612.5%5.3%-1.7%12,807,060
Massachusetts4695.76,606-19.4%338.110.5%4.6%-2.1%6,902,149
New York4767.213,137-13.2%350.514.1%5.5%-1.8%19,542,209
New Hampshire4864.1869-4.3%173.27.7%3.8%-1.3%1,356,458
Maine4958.1777-5.1%112.111.1%4.2%-1.7%1,338,404
Vermont5040.425342.3%17211.3%3.8%-1.7%626,299
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Do you have more questions?

Now that we’ve covered the 15 cities in America with the highest vehicle theft rates, let’s get to your frequently asked questions. They include:

  • Which state has the highest motor vehicle theft rate?
  • Which country has the highest car theft rate?
  • What cars are the hardest to steal?

Scroll down for the answers to those questions and many more.

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#1 – What city has the highest auto theft rate?

In our study, we found that Albuquerque has the highest auto theft rate with 1,181 cars stolen per 100,000 people. That rate has also risen by 27.7 percent in the past three years. Of course, the risk of your car being stolen depends on more than just the area where you live.

As our experts found in our study of the most stolen vehicles in America, the type of vehicle you own could contribute a great deal to the risk of your car being stolen, with some individual car makes and models accounting for more than 5 percent of all vehicles stolen in a year.

#2 – Which state has the highest motor vehicle theft rate?

California is the state with the most vehicles stolen with over 141,000 stolen in 2019. Cities in California are frequently featured in rankings of the cities with the most vehicle thefts. In our study of the 15 cities with the highest vehicle theft rates, four were from California.

#3 – Where do most cars get stolen?

In our study, the West, South, and Midwest are most represented with eight of the 15 cities with the highest vehicle theft rates coming from the West and, four from the South, and three from the Midwest.

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#4 – Which country has the highest car theft rate?

According to various sources, New Zealand is the country with the highest car theft rate at 1,172 cars stolen per 100,000 residents. That is just below the worst city on our list Albuquerque at 1,181 cars stolen per 100,000 residents.

#5 – Do you still have to make payments on a stolen car?

Until your situation is resolved, you need to continue making payments on it. If you don’t, you may run into problems with whatever entity that issued your loan.

#6 – What is the #1 stolen car in America?

The most stolen car in America tends to vary between the Honda Accord and Honda Civic. Thieves target older models of these cars because they have little anti-theft prevention measures and their parts are still in demand on the black market.

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#7 – What cars are the hardest to steal?

The hardest cars to steal share numerous characteristics, including advanced anti-theft technology. This can include the use of a key FOB, a code to enter the car, the need for a device to start the car at all, and more.

#8 – Which is the most dangerous state in America?

For auto theft, the most dangerous state in America is California with four cities in our ranking of the 15 cities with the highest vehicle theft rates.

#9 – What is the most stolen car in 2020?

In 2020, the most stolen car was the GMC Pick-up full-size, followed by the Toyota Corolla, and Nissan Ultima. All three of these are typically on “most stolen car” lists year after year. The coronavirus pandemic also caused an upsurge in cars stolen as people did not leave the house frequently and their cars were left sitting in driveways or on the curb.

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#10 – What happens if your car is stolen and never found?

From an insurance perspective, your auto insurance company can reimburse you for the actual cash value of your car at the time it was stolen. But this is only the case if you have comprehensive insurance coverage. If you don’t, you will not be compensated for your loss.

#11 – How do police track stolen cars?

Police generally track stolen cars using GPS, especially if the owner of the car has added a GPS tracking system specifically to be used in the case if someone stole the car.

#12 – What percent of stolen cars are found?

It varies widely according to city and state, but according to Statista, police recovered 56 percent of locally stolen vehicles in 2019.

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What methodology was used to determine the 15 Car Theft Capitals in the United States?

Crime statistics are from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2018 Uniform Crime Report. The per capita rate for each crime is reported per 100,000 people.

Statistics on unemployment and poverty are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. Only the largest 200 cities in the U.S. by population were included in the analysis. Cities without data available from the FBI were excluded.

Whether you live in a city with high vehicle theft rates or not, saving money on auto insurance is a good thing, especially if you keep the same amount of protection and coverage. Plugin your ZIP code into our online quote generator to find the best rates in your area.

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