Of all the most serious crimes tracked by the FBI — known as Part I offenses — theft-related property crimes are by far the most common. There were a total 6.5 million property crimes reported in the U.S. in 2020, resulting in the theft of tens of billions of dollars worth of property — only a fraction of which has been recovered.
Property crimes fall into one of three categories: larceny, burglary, and vehicle theft. These violations account for over 80% of the most serious offenses tracked and reported by the FBI. Violent crimes, meanwhile, account for less than 20%.
Larceny is defined as the unlawful taking of property — pickpocketing and shoplifting being two common examples — and is the most common form of property crime in the United States. Burglary, defined as the illegal entry of a structure to commit a crime, such as theft, is the most severe form of property crime tracked by the FBI. Vehicle theft, meanwhile, is a crime that can be either the theft, or the attempted theft, of a vehicle, such a car, motorcycle, or ATV.
Though property crime is relatively widespread in the United States, there are parts of the country where these crimes are less common, and residents are far less likely to be victimized.
Using data from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 cities with the lowest property crime rates. Cities are ranked by the number of property crimes reported for every 100,000 people. Only cities with populations greater than 25,000 were considered.
In every city on this list, the property crime rate is less than one-third the national rate of 1,958 incidents per 100,000 people. The majority of cities on this list are in the Northeast, including 15 in Massachusetts alone.