Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake City in Utah is comprised of a population of 1,232,696 residents. For every 100,000 residents in the area, there are 542 motor vehicle thefts, making it one of the biggest victims of grand theft auto. Its car theft rate is in fact 60% greater than state’s average as well.
Utah doesn’t have a huge history of car theft but its 10,288 thefts in 2020 are not unremarkable either. Considered in our rankings are statistics from 2021 to 2022. All in all, the currently high number of thefts per capita is no small number to ignore.
Kansas City, MO
Missouri is no stranger to car theft, having had 24,189 reported cases in 2020, but its worst city by far is Kansas City. The Kansas City, Missouri metropolitan statistical area suffers from an average car theft rate that’s 34% greater than state average.
With a population of about 2,157,990, the car theft rate is pretty high. There are 545 car thefts for every 100,000 residents, which easily makes it one of the biggest victims of car theft in the country. That’s not too surprising though when you consider the fact that the chances of property crime in the city are 1 in 23.
San Jose, CA
San Jose is the first California city on our list of cities with the most stolen cars in America. California had 168,323 vehicle thefts in 2020, which rose to 201,034 in 2021. By 2022, thefts had increased by 1%, amounting to a total of 202,685 stolen motor vehicles.
San Jose, in 2022, had the 10th most motor vehicle thefts per capita. The San Jose metropolitan statistical area had 551 thefts for every 100K residents. And considering that the city has over 1 million people, that’s a lot of victims of car theft.
Oklahoma may not have the highest reported cases of car theft, but it still has a pretty significant number compared to other states, having had 15,047 cases in 2020 and 14,325 in 2021. With that said, Tulsa, Oklahoma turns out to be the city with the highest number of car thefts in the state.
Boasting a population of 998,626, we are talking about a lot of victims in the Tulsa metropolitan area. In 2022, there were 552 reported car thefts for every 100,000 residents, which is on the high side. On top of this, it’s 39% greater than state average.
Apparently, people mess with Texas a lot more than we’ve been led to believe – messing with their cars, at least. Texas has had a history of having a high number of car thefts in the state. Apparently, all that open land is making car thefts a lot easier to get away with.
In 2021, there were 95,082 reported cases of car theft, and in 2022, 105,015 cases – an increase of 10 percent. Odessa, Texas was the metropolitan area with the most reported cases, having had 664 thefts for every 100K residents. It ranked fourth in the entire country. While it has a population of only 166,223 residents, its 59% higher than the state average.
Yuba City, CA
The state of California ranked number one among the top states with the most number of vehicle thefts from 2021 to 2022, so naturally, a few cities made it among the top 10 - the first of which is Yuba City. Located in Northern California, Yuba City has a population of just 70,117, which makes this statistic that much more astonishing.
In the entire statistical area, which also includes Sutter, there are around 164,138 people. For every 100,000 persons in the metropolitan statistical area, there were reportedly 578.68 motor vehicle thefts in 2021. For 2022, Yuba ranked second among the top 10 cities with the most car thefts per capita, with 724 thefts for every 100K residents.
Seattle, Washington, a part of the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area, had a theft rate of 582.47 per every 100K persons, which is why it ranks on our list of cities with the most number of car thefts. It ranked number 9 that year, and while it doesn’t rank in the top 10 for 2022, the numbers are still high.
Seattle saw an average of about 19 motor vehicles stolen every day, which amounts to almost 7,000 vehicles stolen that year. The metropolitan statistical area has over 4 million living within, while the city itself has over 737K residents. Although Yakima showed worse statistics for 2022, Seattle hasn’t shown great improvement.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a part of the Milwaukee-Waukesha metropolitan statistical area with a population of 1,575,179, had a motor vehicle theft rate of 345 for every 100K residents. This was a whopping 66% higher than the entire state average. While it didn’t rank among the top 10 cities in the country for 2022, it had in 2021.
In the year 2021, Milwaukee-Waukesha fared much worse with a rate nearly double that. The statistical area had a car theft rate of 597.83 per every 100K residents, which made it rank number eight in the country. That being said, its declining vehicle theft rate is definitely a good sign for city of Milwaukee.
Billings, Montana ranked 7th among the top 10 cities with the most motor vehicle thefts in 2021. The statistical area had a car theft rate of 611.11 for every 100K residents. In 2022, Billings dropped down to the eighth spot with a slight improvement in its car theft rate.
Billings had 565 car thefts for every 100K residents. With a population of 181,667, it didn’t have a tremendously high number of crimes but the city’s car theft rate was still 41% greater than the state’s average and the rate was still much higher than much of the country as a whole.
San Francisco, CA
The city of San Francisco is another California area rife with car thefts. The San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley metropolitan area had a rate of 675.86 thefts for every 100,000 residents in the year 2021. For 2022, San Francisco only showed marginal improvement with 655 car thefts for every 100,000 residents.
With a population of 808,437 residents, the city of San Francisco is the fourth most populated in the entire state. The metropolitan statistical area, meanwhile, is home to 4,749,008 people, making the number of incidents fairly huge when you consider the entire population.
The state of Oregon didn’t make the top 10 states with the greatest number of car thefts, but Portland, Oregon did make it among the top 10 cities in 2021 – not that that’s a good thing. The statistical area of Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro had a theft rate of 680.20 for every 100,000 residents in 2021.
For 2022, Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro Oregon’s stats dropped to 490 for every 100K persons. With a population of 2,492,412, the number of car thefts is still quite high, considering. Fortunately, it missed ranking in the top 10 this year, giving hope for drivers in the future. But still keep your cars locked Portlanders!
New Mexico was fortunate enough to have not made it among the top 10 states with the most number of motor vehicle thefts from 2021-2022, but the city of Albuquerque was of no help in that regard. Albuquerque, New Mexico had 710.58 thefts for every 100K residents in 2021.
Then in 2022, there were 632 thefts for every 100K residents, which helped the city drop from down from fourth to sixth. Nevertheless, Albuquerque ranks among the top cities with the most stolen cars in America. With a population of 918,018, that’s a high number of victims. Its stats are also 43% greater than the state average.
The state of Colorado ranked 5th among the top 10 states with the most number of motor vehicle thefts. With 42,237 thefts in 2022, the state saw a 10 percent increase from the previous year when there were 38,570 thefts. Among the cities in the state, Pueblo, Colorado has had the highest number of thefts in 2021 and 2022.
In 2021, the Pueblo metropolitan statistical area ranked third with a theft rate of 891.39 for every 100,000 residents. Number in 2022 had improved slightly with only 602 motor vehicle thefts for every 100K residents but the city still ranks among the top 10, this time ranking 7th.
Denver, Colorado has a population of just around 711,463 but among the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan statistical area, we are actually talking about a population of nearly 3 million people. For every 100,000 residents there were 706 thefts in 2022. This makes Denver’s vehicle theft stats 45% greater than state average.
In 2021, Denver’s theft rate was even higher. In that year, there were 964.92 thefts for every 100,000 residents, which means that nearly 1% of its residents were victims of auto theft. While the numbers have dropped from 2021, authorities still have a lot of work to do to keep Denver out of the top 10.
Bakersfield, California, holds its record as the number one city for the greatest number of car thefts per capita. For 2021, there was a theft rate of 1,023.68 incidents for every 100,000 people, which means that over 1% of the population had their car stolen in Bakersfield that year.
Statistics in 2022 were not much better. For every 100,000 residents, there were 905 automobile thefts. While that statistic is somewhat improved, it was still 53% greater than state average. On top of that, given that the population is 900,202, we’re talking about over 8K victims of vehicle theft!
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has experienced a significant decline in motor vehicle theft over the past decade. The rate of car theft is currently the lowest among comparable mid-sized cities. This reduction in car thefts is a testament to the effectiveness of local law enforcement strategies and community vigilance. However, it's crucial to note that while the city exhibits a low number of car thefts, there are still instances of this crime, as indicated by a recent string of vehicle thefts in Reserve Township.
Despite the overall decrease, there are some concerns about a new trend involving teenagers using USB cords to steal vehicles. Also, while Pittsburgh's numbers are encouraging, Pennsylvania as a state is seeing a rise in car thefts. Therefore, residents are urged to remain alert and take necessary precautions to prevent vehicle theft. It's clear that while strides have been made in reducing car thefts in Pittsburgh, the battle against this form of crime is far from over.
Fort Meyers, FL
Fort Myers, a city known for its beautiful beaches and historic sites, experienced a significant decrease in car thefts in 2020. The numbers fell by 5.54%, a change that boosted the city's reputation for safety, earning it second place on the list of best cities for auto thefts. This decline not only reflected the effectiveness of local law enforcement but also brought peace of mind to residents and visitors alike.
In the wider context, Florida as a state also saw a decline in car thefts. There was a reduction of 1,525 reported incidents in 2020 compared to the previous year, 2019. This trend indicates an overall improvement in vehicle security across the state, attributable to concerted efforts from law enforcement agencies, community awareness programs, and advancements in vehicle security technology. The decrease in car thefts has contributed to the sense of security among Florida's residents, making it a safer place to live and work.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has demonstrated a commendable track record in maintaining lower rates of car theft compared to surrounding cities. The city's effective strategies and concentrated efforts have led to a decrease in vehicle thefts, creating a safer environment for its residents. In 2018, the rate stood at 88.8 car thefts per every 100,000 residents, a significantly lower figure in comparison to many other cities across the nation.
However, it's crucial to note that while car theft rates are generally low, there have been isolated incidents of concern. For example, a recent TikTok trend has put Hyundai and Kia cars manufactured between 2015 and 2021 at risk. Regardless, Harrisburg continues to be one of the cities with the lowest rates of car theft in the nation, thanks to its robust law enforcement and community awareness programs.
Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach, Florida, known for its vibrant beach culture and motorsport events, has been making strides in combating car theft. While the city has had sporadic incidents of vehicle-related crime, overall rates have seen a decline. The Daytona Beach Police Department emphasizes the importance of anti-theft devices in deterring potential criminals, thus contributing to this decrease.
The statistics for 2021 indicate that the chances of being a victim of property crime in Daytona Beach stand at 1 in 98, reflecting a relatively lower rate compared to other cities. Initiatives by local law enforcement, coupled with increased public awareness, continue to enhance the safety of the city's residents and their properties.
McAllen, Texas, despite being in a state renowned for high vehicle theft rates, has made commendable strides in maintaining lower car theft incidents. Notably, the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area stands as an outlier within Texas, with fewer instances of vehicle theft. This is a testament to the effectiveness of the local law enforcement agencies and their proactive measures in curbing this crime.
However, it's important to acknowledge recent occurrences of car thefts involving juveniles and persons of interest from Austin spotted in the region. Despite these incidents, McAllen continues to be among the cities where your car is least likely to be stolen, providing a sense of security to its residents.
Lakeland, Florida, has been proactive in tackling car thefts and burglaries. While the state of Florida has seen a rise in vehicle thefts, Lakeland and its surrounding regions have adopted stringent measures to combat this crime. The Polk County Sheriff's Office has been especially vigilant, investigating numerous car burglaries and thefts in areas like the Lakeland Highlands. Their efforts have helped maintain a lower rate of car thefts compared to other regions in Florida.
However, the city has witnessed isolated incidents, such as a burglary spree involving four teens and a woman accused of breaking into cars. Despite these challenges, local law enforcement's persistent actions and community awareness programs have contributed to keeping car theft rates relatively low in Lakeland.
Provo, Utah, located in the Provo-Orem area, is recognized for its remarkably low car theft rate. On average, the rate of vehicle theft in Provo is approximately 2.953 per 1,000 residents annually, making it one of the safer cities in terms of car theft. This lower rate has earned Provo a favorable position on the list of best cities for car theft prevention.
Despite being close to the city center, where theft incidents can occur, Provo maintains a strong reputation for safety. The effective strategies implemented by the Provo City Police and the cooperative community significantly contribute to this low vehicle theft rate. However, there have been isolated incidents, such as a few cases of vehicle and off-road vehicle thefts in neighboring areas. Proactive law enforcement efforts continue to ensure that Provo remains a safe place for its residents and their properties.
Palm Bay, FL
Despite being part of Florida, a state with some cities facing high car theft rates, Palm Bay has seen a significant decrease in car thefts. According to data from Agile Rates and Policy Genius, the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville area saw a decrease in the car theft rate from 2019 to 2020 by over 6%. This positive trend attests to the effective measures adopted by local authorities, contributing to the overall safety and security of residents' properties.
However, isolated incidents have been reported, including a bizarre traffic crime spree resulting in a vehicle being stolen and crashed, and an uptick in thieves breaking into cars. Despite these occurrences, the concerted efforts of law enforcement agencies and the community's vigilance have played a crucial role in maintaining lower car theft rates in Palm Bay.
Despite being located in Florida, a state with several cities experiencing high car theft rates, Tampa has managed to maintain a relatively lower rate of vehicle theft. According to data from Crime Grade and Agile Rates, the Tampa area has a car theft rate of 0.8582 per 1,000 residents during a standard year. Additionally, there was a reported 4.48% reduction in auto thefts.
However, recent reports suggest that car thefts have been on the rise in Tampa and its surrounding regions, including St. Petersburg. Luxury vehicles have been targeted, particularly those left in valet parking at businesses within the city. The Tampa Police Department has been working diligently to address these issues, issuing warnings to residents about car thefts and urging them to lock their vehicles. Despite these challenges, the overall rate of car thefts in Tampa remains lower than in many other Florida cities.
Allentown, Pennsylvania, situated in the Allentown–Bethlehem–Easton metro area, has been recognized for its relatively low car theft rate. According to Policy Genius, this region has one of the lowest car theft rates in the country, with a rate of 86.6 per 100,000 residents. This favorable rating is attributed to the proactive efforts of the local Auto Theft Task Force, which investigates all aspects of auto theft within the city.
However, despite these encouraging numbers, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of theft cases within the city. As reported by WFMZ and NBC Philadelphia, car theft cases in Allentown doubled from 400 in 2021 to over 800 in 2023. A trend on social media platforms like TikTok has also led to an increase in certain types of car thefts, particularly involving Hyundai and Kia vehicles. Despite these challenges, the local authorities and community continue to work together to maintain safety and security within the city.