The vast majority of crimes committed in the United States are nonviolent property crimes — larceny-thefts such as shoplifting, vehicle thefts, and burglaries. There were nearly 8 million such crimes in 2016, a decline of 1.3% from the previous year and of 19.9% from a decade ago. Still, property crimes remain quite common — and costly. Property crimes cost Americans an estimated $15.6 billion in 2016.
Crime tends to cluster in hotspots, and the likelihood of witnessing or experiencing a crime can vary greatly among residents even of the same local area. Looking at the city with the highest property crime rate in every state demonstrates how property crime rates can vary within states and across the nation.
To find the city with the most property crime in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the number of property crimes reported for every 100,000 residents in U.S. cities of 20,000 people or more. For context, there are approximately 2,500 property crimes for every 100,000 Americans in a year. Property crimes range from less than 300 offenses per 100,000 people in Ridgefield, Connecticut to more than 15,000 offenses per 100,000 people in Tukwila, Washington.
John Roman is a senior fellow at NORC, a social research institution at the University of Chicago, formerly known as the National Opinion Research Center. In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Roman explained that several conditions often come together in high property crime areas: There must be individuals motivated to commit crimes; there must be suitable targets — people who have things worth stealing; and there must be what criminologists call a lack of guardianship, basic security provisions like guards or surveillance cameras. “[P]laces that have more property crime could have any combination of those three things going against them,” he said.