Special Report

Cities Where the Motor Vehicle Theft Rate Is Soaring

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, up 12% from the previous year and the most in over a decade. 

Motor vehicle theft can be either the theft or attempted theft of a vehicle, such as a car or ATV. Some experts attribute the rising rates of vehicle theft to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to vehicles sitting unattended and unused for longer stretches than usual. Here is a look at the 10 most stolen cars in America

The country’s rising rates of motor vehicle theft are being led by surges in some U.S. cities.

Using data from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 cities where vehicle theft is rising fastest. Cities – defined as places with more than 25,000 people – are ranked by the year-over-year change in the number of reported vehicle thefts per 100,000 people in 2020. Among the cities on this list, the vehicle theft rate climbed anywhere from 205 incidents per 100,000 people to 491 per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, the national motor vehicle theft rate climbed by 25 incidents per 100,000 people in 2020. 

Vehicle theft – along with larceny and burglary – is one component of the overall property crime category. Partially due to rising rates of vehicle theft, most of the cities on this list also reported an increase in the overall property crime rate in 2020. Here is a look at the cities where property crime is soaring. 

Most of the cities that reported the largest increases in vehicle thefts per capita are in the West, including 21 in California alone. Every city on this list has a higher motor vehicle theft rate than the national rate of 246 per 100,000 people.

Click here to see the cities where the motor vehicle theft rate is soaring
Click here to read our detailed methodology

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