Special Report

Towns Where the Larceny Theft Rate Is Soaring

Of all the most serious crimes tracked by the FBI – known as Part I offenses – larceny is by far the most common. There were 4.6 million cases of larceny-theft reported in the United States in 2020, accounting for nearly 60% of all Part I offenses, which also include murder, assault, robbery, rаpe, vehicle theft, and burglary. 

Larceny is a classification of crime that includes all nonviolent theft, with the exception of motor-vehicle theft. Common examples of larceny include purse snatching, pick pocketing, shoplifting, and bicycle theft. According to the FBI, larceny-thefts result in billions of dollars in losses annually.

Reported incidents of larceny have been declining for years in the United States. Between 2019 and 2020 alone, the number of reported larceny cases fell by 11%, or, adjusting for population, 171 incidents for every 100,000 people. However, some American towns are reporting rising larceny rates, breaking with the broader trend.

Using data from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report, 24/7 Wall St. determined the 50 towns where the larceny-theft rate is rising fastest. Towns – defined as places with populations between 2,500 and 25,000 – are ranked by the change in the number of larcenies reported for every 100,000 people between 2019 and 2020. Among the towns on this list, the larceny rate climbed anywhere from 843 to 2,922 incidents per 100,000 people. 

Larceny – along with motor vehicle theft and burglary – is one component of the property crime category. Partially due to a rising larceny rate, the overall property crime rate also increased in every town on this list. Here is a look at the U.S. towns where property crime is soaring

The largest share of towns on this list are in the South, though Washington is home to six, the  most of any state. In nearly every town on this list, the larceny-theft rate is higher than the national rate of 1,398 per 100,000 people. Here is a look at the city with the most larceny thefts in every state.

Click here to see the towns where the larceny-theft rate is soaring
Click here to read our detailed methodology

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