Special Report

Metros Where Car Theft Crimes Are Dropping the Fastest

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

While cases of motor vehicle theft are surging across the country, some major metropolitan areas are bucking the national trend, reporting substantial year-over-year declines in vehicle theft cases per capita. 

Using data from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 metro areas where vehicle theft is falling fastest. Metro areas are ranked by the year-over-year change in the number of reported vehicle thefts per 100,000 people. Among the metro areas on this list, the vehicle theft rate fell anywhere from nine incidents per 100,000 people to 138 per 100,000 people. For context, 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. Due in part to falling rates of vehicle theft, the vast majority of metro areas on this list reported a decline in the overall property crime rate in 2020. Here is a look at the cities where property crime is falling fastest

The metro areas that reported the largest declines in vehicle thefts are concentrated in the South and the West. California alone is home to nine, more than any other state. Despite the decline in cases of vehicle theft, in nearly half of the metro areas on this list, the vehicle theft rate remains higher than the national rate of 246 per 100,000 people.

Click here to see the metros where the motor vehicle theft rate is falling
Click here to read our detailed methodology

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