Hot Wheels: 5 States Top the List for Stolen Cars

By | September 19, 2022

Colorado led the nation in 2021 with the highest overall vehicle theft rate but California once again held the top spot for the number of cars stolen overall.

That’s according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s Hot Spots Report which found that vehicle thefts continue to skyrocket in many areas across the U.S.

Colorado’s rate came in at 661.21 thefts per 100,000 people, up from 502.12 in 2020, an increase of 32%.

California led the other states with the highest number of vehicle thefts by volume once again in 2021 with 200,524 vehicles stolen, over 100,000 more thefts than second place Texas.

“For many of us, cars are essential to our livelihoods and the welfare of our families,” said NICB President and CEO David Glawe. “NICB, along with our partners in law enforcement, are proactively working to prevent and deter vehicle theft, but vehicle owners can take simple steps to empower themselves. No matter who you are or where you live, theft prevention starts with good security hygiene. Lock your doors and keep your keys with you at all times.”

The top five states with the most thefts by volume include Illinois, Florida, Colorado, California and Texas. In total, those five states account for 412,008 vehicle thefts, or 44% of all vehicle thefts nationwide. Of these states, only Florida saw a slight decrease in vehicle thefts with 42,808, down from 44,940 in 2020.

In addition to having the most overall thefts by volume, California was also home to highest theft rate by Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA). The highest theft rate in the United States was in Bakersfield, California, where its CBSA yielded 1,024 thefts per 100,000 people. With a rate of 964.92 thefts per 100,000 people, the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado, CBSA was second overall in theft rate.

Some good news — not all states experienced an increase in thefts in 2021. Since the release of the 2020 Hot Spots report, 22 states have seen decreases in vehicle thefts.

The Hot Spots report examines vehicle theft data obtained from the National Crime Information Center for each of the nation’s metropolitan statistical areas. For more information on this year’s report, visit:

Topics Fraud

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Insurance Journal West September 19, 2022
September 19, 2022
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