The U.S. property crime rate fell for the 19th consecutive year in 2020 – a bright spot in an otherwise bleak year defined largely by the COVID-19 pandemic and a historic surge in deadly violence.
Property crime is made up of three categories of offenses: larceny, defined as the unlawful taking of property; burglary, or the illegal entry of a structure to commit a crime; and vehicle theft, which can be either the theft, or the attempted theft, of a vehicle, such a car or ATV. Here is a look at the city in every state where your car is most likely to be stolen.
There were a total 6.5 million property crimes reported in the U.S. in 2020, or 1,958 for every 100,000 people, a decrease of 172 incidents per 100,000 people from the previous year. Not all parts of the country benefited from the decline, however. Many towns across the country bucked the national trend and reported a year over year surge in property crime.
Using data from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 towns where property crime is soaring. Towns are ranked by the year-over-year change in property crimes reported for every 100,000 residents. We considered all places covered by the U.S. Census Bureau with populations between 2,500 and 25,000.
Despite the decline in much of the country, property crimes remain the most common of the most serious crimes tracked by the FBI, known as Part I offenses. Each year, property crimes result in the loss of tens of billions of dollars worth of property – much of which is never recovered.
In every town on this list, the property crime rate increased by more than 1,125 incidents per 100,000 people in 2020. Close to half of the towns that reported the largest increase in property crime rate are in the South, including five in North Carolina alone. All but four of the towns on this list have a higher overall property crime rate than the U.S. as a whole.
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