Top 10 Metro Areas for Vehicle Theft

June 24, 2015

Although vehicle thefts are down dramatically around the nation, there are still particular areas where thieves thrive.

California’s San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the nation’s highest per capita vehicle theft rate in 2014, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) latest Hot Spots report.

For 2014, the 10 MSAs with the highest vehicle theft rates according to NICB were:

2014 Ranking 2013 Ranking
1. San Francisco/Oakland/Hayward, Calif. (29,093) 4. (29,326)
2. Bakersfield, Calif. (5,211) 1. (6,267)
3. Stockton-Lodi, Calif. (4,245) 5. (4,245)
4. Odessa, Texas (886) 12. (764)
5. Modesto, Calif. (3,047) 3. (3,565)
6. Spokane-Spokane Valley, Wash. (3,032) 7. (3,205)
7. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif. (2,414) 8. (2,540)
8. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. (20,268) 13. (18,128)
9. Fresno, Calif. (5,260) 2. (6,750)
10. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (10,531) 9. (10,925)

NICB’s Hot Spots report examines vehicle theft data obtained from the National Crime Information Center for each of the nation’s MSAs, which often include areas much larger than the cities for which they are named. For example, the Bakersfield, Calif., MSA includes all thefts within the entire county of Kern, not just the city of Bakersfield.

Moreover, NICB notes, as a population-based survey, an area with a much smaller population and a moderate number of thefts can—and often does—have a higher theft rate than an area with a much more significant vehicle theft problem and a larger population to absorb it.

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