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 town where your car is most likely to be stolen in every state. Towns – defined as places with populations between 2,500 and 25,000 – are ranked by the number of motor vehicle thefts reported for every 100,000 people. In Hawaii, there are no qualifying towns with available crime data.
Though each of the towns on this list ranks as having the highest motor vehicle theft rate in its respective state, vehicle theft rates in these places vary considerably, from 137 incidents per 100,000 people to 2,861 per 100,000. Still, in every town on this list, vehicle theft rates exceed the statewide rate, and all but a few exceed the national rate of 246 per 100,000.
Motor vehicle theft, along with burglary and larceny, is one of three criminal offenses that make up the property crime category. Due in large part to higher than average vehicle theft rates, in nearly every town on this list, the overall property crime rate exceeds the comparable statewide rate. Here is a look at the 10 most stolen cars in America.