These states have the highest car theft rates: Where does yours rank?
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(KTLA) — Between 2021 and 2022, reported carjackings in the U.S. increased by 8.1%, recently released FBI data shows. The vast majority of those involved an assailant with a weapon, and someone was injured in more than a quarter of all carjackings.
A new report shows some states have been hit harder by car thieves than others.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau, a not-for-profit organization, reviewed data collected by the FBI’s National Crime Information Center to find which states had the highest vehicle theft rates in 2022 per 100,000 residents.
Overall, they found states primarily on the West Coast and in the Southwest had the worst vehicle theft rates.
For the second year in a row, Colorado topped the list, reporting a theft rate of over 731 cars per 100,000 residents in 2022, up more than 10% compared to 2021, according to the NICB. Ranking second on the list wasn’t a state at all: the District of Columbia saw roughly 700 cars per 100,000 residents stolen last year.
For comparison, Colorado has a population of roughly 5.8 million. The District of Columbia’s is just under 672,000.
Here are the 10 states NICB found had the worst rates of vehicle thefts in 2022:
- District of Columbia
- New Mexico
While California (6th) didn’t top the list for the state with the highest vehicle theft rate, it did have the highest number of car thefts in the nation for 2022. Last year, 203,018 thefts happened in the Golden State, according to the report.
Coming in behind California was Texas, which saw over 105,000 car thefts last year — nearly half that of California. Colorado, despite its high theft rate, reported only about 42,700 car thefts.
The safest states were primarily in the Northeast. New Hampshire had the lowest car theft rate at about 54 per 100,000 residents, followed closely by Maine with 68 per 100,000.
Those with the lowest car theft rates, according to the NICB, were:
- New Hampshire
- Puerto Rico
- West Virginia
- New York
It was New Hampshire that reported the fewest overall car thefts last year at 750. Wyoming wasn’t far off, reporting 770 car thefts. Maine was the only other state to have less than 1,000 thefts, reporting 944 total.
The report also looked at which metro areas had the highest car theft rate in 2022.
Topping out the list was Pueblo, Colorado, with a rate of 1,086 thefts per 100,000. Bakersfield, California, came in second (1,072 per 100,000), followed by Denver (1,063 per 100,000).
When ranked on the number of reported thefts, Los Angeles had the most at more than 72,700. That was more than double second-ranked Chicago, which had 33,000 car thefts. Houston, Texas, ranked third at almost 32,800.
One of the most frequently encouraged ways to protect yourself from having your car stolen is locking the doors. The Los Angeles Police Department and California Highway Patrol also recommend using anti-theft devices, parking your vehicle in well-lit areas or secure garages, not leaving your keys in the car, keeping valuables hidden, and keeping your ownership certificate when purchasing a used vehicle.
Alix Martichoux contributed to this report.
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