Motor vehicle theft, one of the most serious offenses tracked by the FBI, is on the rise in the United States. There were a total of 810,400 motor vehicle thefts nationwide in 2020, the most in over a decade.
Motor vehicle theft can be either the theft or attempted theft of a vehicle, such as a car, truck, ATV, or motorcycle. Some experts attribute the rising rates of vehicle theft to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to vehicles sitting unattended and unused for longer than usual. Additionally, vehicle theft is often committed for monetary gain, and the pandemic sent unemployment soaring and left many Americans struggling financially.
While motorists nationwide now face a greater risk of vehicle theft than they have in many years, in some parts of the country, car owners are far more likely to be victims of car theft than in others.
Using data from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 cities where your car is most likely to be stolen. Cities, defined as places with populations greater than 25,000, are ranked by the number of motor vehicle thefts reported for every 100,000 people.
In every city on this list, vehicle theft rates are far higher than — and in some cases more than five times — the national rate of 246 incidents per 100,000 people. Most of the cities on this list are in the West, including 15 in California alone.
Motor vehicle theft — along with larceny and burglary — is one of three criminal offenses that comprise the property crime category. Due in large part to higher than average vehicle theft rates, in every city on this list, the overall property crime rate exceeds the national rate of 1,958 incidents per 100,000 people. Here is a look at the 10 most stolen cars in America.