10 Best Cities in America (For Car Thieves)

We often hear about the best cities in America to live, the best cities for jobs, and the best places to retire. But what about the top cities for car theft? This statistic certainly affects the amount of money you pay for car insurance, since the more thefts that happen in a particular area, the more insurance companies charge for premiums to cover the costs associated with losses.

This information was compiled by an auto theft-related website that took the rate of vehicle thefts from the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported per 100,000 people based on United States Census estimates. If you live in any of these cities, lock your doors and don’t leave anything sitting on the front seat!


10. Fresno, CA

Population: 505,479

Fresno is the fifth-largest city in California, a state that you’ll soon see is rife with car thievery. Perhaps the flat land of the San Joaquin Valley is well suited for joyrides.


9. San Francisco, CA

Population: 815,358

The San Francisco Bay Area encompasses a total population of over seven million people. That’s a lot of cars ripe for stealing!


8. Albuquerque, NM

Population: 528,497

Albuquerque is the largest city in the state of New Mexico. Its proximity to the border with Mexico is said to contribute to the high number of car thefts.


7. Las Vegas, NV

Population: 567,641

Las Vegas is known as Sin City, and apparently one of those sins is grand theft auto (the criminal act, not the game).


6. Stockton, CA

Population: 290,409

The motto of this metropolis is “Stockton: All America City.” We didn’t realize that a high rate of car theft makes a city “All-America,” but apparently that’s the case.


5. Bakersfield, CA

Population: 333,819

Hey, another city in the San Joaquin Valley. We’re starting to wonder if Bakersfield and Fresno have a little competition going on in the car theft circuit.


4. San Diego, CA

Population: 1,359,132

Another border town, this one is very close to the Mexico border crossing. Nothing easier than boosting a car over the border, then driving it into the Mexican desert until the transmission explodes. Ole!


3. Yakima, WA

Population: 84,074

Yakima is a small city, but its metro area has over 200,000 people. The area is known for being one of the largest

producers of apples – apparently, some bad apples who steal other people’s cars.


2. Laredo, TX

Population: 233,152

The economy of Laredo is heavily tied to trade with Mexico since the city is bordered by the Rio Grande. Does some of that trade include stolen vehicles? Judging by this rank, yes indeed.


1. Modesto, CA

Population: 211,156

We’ve got a winner! Modesto has often been ranked as one of the worst places to live in the U.S. due to the high cost of living, unemployment and long commutes. All those factors equal a lot of car theft.

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