There were an estimated 748,841 vehicle thefts in the United States in 2018, or about 229 per 100,000 Americans. The vehicles stolen were worth, according to the FBI, an estimated total of over $6 billion. Compared to 2017, the vehicles stolen last year represent a 3.1% decrease from the previous year, but a 9.0% increase compared to 2014.
Of course, where you live can greatly increase or decrease the chances of your car getting stolen. The National Insurance Crime Bureau, a not-for-profit anti-fraud organization for insurance companies, produced 2018 vehicle theft rates at the metropolitan level per 100,000 people, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the FBI’s National Crime Information Center. These are the 40 U.S. metropolitan areas with vehicle theft rates greater than 400 per 100,000 people.
The 40 metropolitan areas on this list are highly concentrated in just a few states. By far, the most highly represented state is California, which has 15 metro areas on this list. Almost all 40 metro areas are in the South or the West. None are in the Northeast, which tends to have relatively low property and violent crime rates. These are America’s most violent and peaceful states.
Not surprisingly, most of the cities on this list have higher rates not just of auto theft, but of property crimes in general. The national property crime rate in 2018 was 2,200 per 100,000 people. All but two of the metro areas with available data have higher property crime rates, with several exceeding 4,000 incidents per 100,000 people. These are the cities where crime is soaring in every state.