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Having your car boosted can be a shocker, but it happens a lot more often than most people think. Car thefts were up dramatically in 2020, according to the latest information from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, with a whopping 880,595 vehicle thefts nationwide compared to 794,019 in 2019. This translates into one stolen vehicle every 36 seconds.

There were several reasons why auto theft rose in 2020.

“Auto thefts saw a dramatic increase in 2020 versus 2019 in part due to the pandemic, an economic downturn, law enforcement realignment, depleted social and schooling programs and, in still too many cases, owner complacency,” said David Glawe, president and CEO of the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), in a prepared statement.

According to the "Hot Spots" report from the NICB, an industry-supported nonprofit dedicated to preventing fraud and theft, the Bakersfield, California, metro area is the worst spot for car thefts by theft rate for the second year in a row. Bakersfield had a 2020 theft rate of 905. The theft rate is the total number of thefts per 100,000 residents. The Los Angeles area, which saw more than 63,000 car thefts, had the most vehicles stolen – although its theft rate was only about half that seen in Bakersfield.

California is always a hot spot for car theft and 2020 was no exception, the Golden State saw the highest number of car thefts with total thefts topping 187,000. Texas managed a second-place finish with a total of 93,521 car thefts, and Florida rounded out the top three with 44,940 stolen cars.

Colorado also is noteworthy. The Centennial State experienced a massive increase in car thefts in 2020 – 37% – going from 21,299 in 2019 to 29,162 thefts in 2020. The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood region saw car thefts increase by more than 7,000 thefts – from 14,093 in 2019 to 21,112 in 2020.

It should be noted that the NICB report looks at Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), not specific cities. Some MSAs are made up of more than one city.

Regardless of where you live or what type of car you drive, it’s important to know what to do if your car is stolen – approximately 42% of stolen cars are never recovered, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Keep reading to learn which MSAs have the highest and lowest number of car thefts and how your auto insurer will deal with a theft.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Bakersfield, California is the top metro area for car thefts. But no matter where you live, if a thief takes off in your car you need comprehensive insurance to cover it.
  • Comprehensive insurance also covers your car for fire, striking an animal, flying objects and damage from natural disasters such as floodwaters or high winds.
  • You can get a car insurance discount on your comprehensive coverage by installing, an anti-theft device.
  • To combat theft, remember common sense steps such as rolling up your windows, locking your car and parking in a well-lit area.

Top metropolitan areas ranked for car thefts

The Bakersfield, California, metro area is the worst for car thefts for the second year in a row with an auto theft rate of 905 – the total number of thefts per 100,000 residents. Car theft is a problem in several California cities, with seven of the top 20 metro areas for car thefts in the Golden State.

The Yuba City, California, metro area saw a huge uptick in car thefts, jumping up from seventh place nationally to second place in a year.

Yuba City was followed by the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area in Colorado; Odessa, Texas; and the San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley area.

Cities with the fewest car thefts

On the flip side of the car theft coin, in State College, Pennsylvania, your car is pretty safe from theft. There were only 28 car thefts there in 2020, which translates into a 17 auto theft rate – 98% lower than in Bakersfield.

The Aguadilla-Isabela Metropolitan Statistical Area in Puerto Rico was the second safest spot for a car with an auto theft rate of 17.83, and the Ponce MSA was number three with only 44 cars being boosted.

The smallest metropolitan area in New York, Glens Falls, had the fourth lowest theft rate, coming in at 21.71, while Lebanon, Pennsylvania, had an auto theft rating of 26.12.

Curious about how your area ranks when it comes to car theft? Below are the U.S. metro areas ranked by rate of thefts per 100,000 residents, as calculated by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

RankMetro Area2020 Vehicle Thefts2020 Theft Rate
1Bakersfield, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area8,161905.41
2Yuba City, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area1,279724.46
3Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area21,112705.80
4Odessa, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area1,114664.28
5San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area30,774655.20
6Albuquerque, NM Metropolitan Statistical Area5,835631.75
7Pueblo, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area1,023602.39
8Billings, MT Metropolitan Statistical Area1,038564.75
9St. Joseph, MO-KS Metropolitan Statistical Area692564.64
10Tulsa, OK Metropolitan Statistical Area5,553551.76
11San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area10,867551.30
12Kansas City, MO-KS Metropolitan Statistical Area11,837544.68
13Salt Lake City, UT Metropolitan Statistical Area6,717541.68
14Topeka, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area1,235534.91
15Vallejo, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area2,366529.38
16Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area6,418505.76
17Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area23,316498.38
18Modesto, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area2,711492.84
19Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA Metropolitan Statistical Area12,299489.95
20Yakima, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area1,229487.93
21Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area63,235482.35
22Amarillo, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area1,279481.26
23Merced, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area1,322473.41
24Wichita, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area3,016468.49
25Lubbock, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area1,525467.27
26Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area18,691465.11
27Memphis, TN-MS-AR Metropolitan Statistical Area6,209460.38
28Salem, OR Metropolitan Statistical Area2,000457.72
29Springfield, MO Metropolitan Statistical Area2,142450.74
30Visalia, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area2,091446.15
31St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area12,440443.42
32Fresno, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area4,404440.00
33Stockton, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area3,371438.95
34Chattanooga, TN-GA Metropolitan Statistical Area2,484435.84
35Joplin, MO Metropolitan Statistical Area759421.43
36Midland, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area771419.75
37Columbia, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area3,549418.81
38Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area29,884417.70
39Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area1,850415.95
40Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV Metropolitan Statistical Area9,436407.43
41Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area2,998401.57
42Chico, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area851400.01
43Rapid City, SD Metropolitan Statistical Area578399.96
44Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA Metropolitan Statistical Area3,784396.53
45New Orleans-Metairie, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area5,025394.97
46Lake Charles, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area826392.75
47Redding, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area695388.21
48Spartanburg, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area1,247382.27
49Fairbanks, AK Metropolitan Statistical Area364380.55
50Hanford-Corcoran, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area581380.50
51San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area9,852380.28
52Hot Springs, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area378378.80
53Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area13,763376.30
54Sioux Falls, SD Metropolitan Statistical Area1,019372.49
55Kalamazoo-Portage, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area986370.69
56Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area996368.99
57Salinas, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area1,582367.13
58Anchorage, AK Metropolitan Statistical Area1,450364.96
59Oklahoma City, OK Metropolitan Statistical Area5,158361.87
60Florence, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area728356.69
61Colorado Springs, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area2,688356.57
62Greenville-Anderson, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area3,291352.84
63Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area8,329350.73
64Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area7,291348.68
65Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area1,989346.16
66Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area5,446345.19
67Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area26,368342.70
68Pine Bluff, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area292338.44
69New Haven-Milford, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area2,878337.81
70South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI Metropolitan Statistical Area1,089337.08
71Macon-Bibb County, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area772335.80
72Jackson, MS Metropolitan Statistical Area1,957332.21
73Greeley, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area1,100329.36
74San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area10,971329.22
75Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area1,243329.05
76Charleston-North Charleston, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area2,639321.95
77Madera, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area507321.37
78Las Cruces, NM Metropolitan Statistical Area703317.72
79Alexandria, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area473313.62
80Shreveport-Bossier City, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area1,223311.67
81Corpus Christi, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area1,310304.50
82Jonesboro, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area412304.00
83Mobile, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area1,303303.95
84Grants Pass, OR Metropolitan Statistical Area267303.23
85Reno, NV Metropolitan Statistical Area1,437298.57
86Fort Smith, AR-OK Metropolitan Statistical Area740295.49
87Montgomery, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area1,097294.43
88Sumter, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area410293.33
89Columbus, GA-AL Metropolitan Statistical Area943292.26
90Johnson City, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area595290.90
91Albany, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area422290.62
92Columbus, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area6,203290.00
93Santa Fe, NM Metropolitan Statistical Area440289.58
94Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area17,824288.74
95Grand Junction, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area449288.55
96Elkhart-Goshen, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area590286.18
97Eugene-Springfield, OR Metropolitan Statistical Area1,094285.65
98Springfield, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area381285.19
99Hammond, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area390285.16
100Cleveland-Elyria, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area5,827285.11
101Honolulu (Urban), HI Metropolitan Statistical Area2,723282.52
102Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area17,147281.66
103Birmingham-Hoover, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area3,072281.34
104Knoxville, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area2,469281.17
105Napa, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area381280.22
106Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area1,537280.15
107Carbondale-Marion, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area378279.07
108Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area1,092279.06
109Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area14,118279.02
110Cleveland, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area350277.99
111Columbia, MO Metropolitan Statistical Area583277.49
112Panama City, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area474276.67
113El Centro, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area498276.26
114Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area6,294274.21
115Boulder, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area896273.86
116Greensboro-High Point, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area2,117272.68
117Asheville, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area1,271272.38
118Terre Haute, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area505272.04
119Tucson, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area2,881271.49
120San Angelo, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area331269.35
121Gulfport-Biloxi, MS Metropolitan Statistical Area1,128269.24
122Charleston, WV Metropolitan Statistical Area681267.96
123Fargo, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area663266.70
124Anniston-Oxford, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area302266.15
125Dayton-Kettering, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area2,149265.56
126Savannah, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area1,050265.16
127Winston-Salem, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area1,797264.37
128Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area1,859262.60
129Hattiesburg, MS Metropolitan Statistical Area444261.86
130Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area5,132261.67
131Gainesville, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area860258.79
132Wichita Falls, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area393257.73
133Baton Rouge, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area2,185254.49
134Cedar Rapids, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area697254.49
135Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area3,052254.02
136Tuscaloosa, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area640252.75
137Bowling Green, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area456252.28
138Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area10,844251.94
139Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC Metropolitan Statistical Area6,746251.32
140Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC Metropolitan Statistical Area1,541250.85
141Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area542249.53
142Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area920248.47
143Lawrence, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area304248.10
144Bellingham, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area573248.03
145Morristown, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area357247.95
146Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area23,297247.67
147Springfield, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area509247.15
148Jacksonville, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area3,900245.61
149Monroe, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area488245.43
150Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA Metropolitan Statistical Area753244.34
151Waco, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area667240.79
152Killeen-Temple, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area1,127240.58
153Battle Creek, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area321240.31
154Lexington-Fayette, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area1,250240.20
155Lawton, OK Metropolitan Statistical Area303239.01
156Decatur, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area246238.80
157Durham-Chapel Hill, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area1,547237.07
158Cheyenne, WY Metropolitan Statistical Area238236.59
159Texarkana, TX-AR Metropolitan Statistical Area351235.83
160Fayetteville, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area1,239234.10
161Great Falls, MT Metropolitan Statistical Area190233.57
162Sioux City, IA-NE-SD Metropolitan Statistical Area337232.42
163Medford, OR Metropolitan Statistical Area513231.24
164Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area299228.61
165Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area670227.83
166Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Metropolitan Statistical Area6,342226.48
167Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area1,106225.80
168Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area335225.17
169Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area5,918224.22
170Lafayette, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area1,093223.17
171Buffalo-Cheektowaga, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area2,478220.14
172Longview, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area629219.08
173Longview, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area243218.19
174Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area1,822216.55
175Dothan, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area325216.36
176Jackson, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area385214.93
177Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area1,099214.86
178Warner Robins, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area402213.76
179Richmond, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area2,785213.66
180Decatur, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area326213.43
181Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metropolitan Statistical Area12,994212.74
182Bismarck, ND Metropolitan Statistical Area274211.35
183Huntsville, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area1,011209.89
184Canton-Massillon, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area832209.75
185Akron, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area1,458207.86
186Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area1,950206.91
187Toledo, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area1,318205.44
188Sherman-Denison, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area284205.32
189Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area1,056205.25
190Albany-Lebanon, OR Metropolitan Statistical Area268204.50
191Owensboro, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area244203.68
192St. Cloud, MN Metropolitan Statistical Area413203.45
193Cape Girardeau, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area197202.84
194Bremerton-Silverdale-Port Orchard, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area551201.99
195Duluth, MN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area583201.98
196Missoula, MT Metropolitan Statistical Area245201.43
197Evansville, IN-KY Metropolitan Statistical Area635201.12
198Tallahassee, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area782200.72
199Roanoke, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area626199.50
200Lansing-East Lansing, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area1,091199.00
201Muncie, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area225198.32
202Gadsden, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area203198.30
203Peoria, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area784197.59
204Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area12,449196.83
205Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area3,472195.08
206Kennewick-Richland, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area586193.08
207Enid, OK Metropolitan Statistical Area117192.22
208Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area4,292192.22
209Casper, WY Metropolitan Statistical Area155191.80
210Clarksville, TN-KY Metropolitan Statistical Area602191.50
211Yuma, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area417191.44
212Ocala, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area714191.16
213Athens-Clarke County, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area410190.91
214Niles, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area292190.82
215Farmington, NM Metropolitan Statistical Area234189.76
216Michigan City-La Porte, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area207188.76
217Rome, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area185187.62
218Goldsboro, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area232187.15
219San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area527186.71
220Victoria, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area185185.81
221Pocatello, ID Metropolitan Statistical Area179185.61
222Flint, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area744183.80
223Brunswick, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area218182.95
224Homosassa Springs, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area276180.38
225Jefferson City, MO Metropolitan Statistical Area268178.43
226Parkersburg-Vienna, WV Metropolitan Statistical Area158178.24
227Lincoln, NE Metropolitan Statistical Area602178.19
228El Paso, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area1,506177.97
229Burlington, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area304177.42
230Grand Rapids-Kentwood, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area1,917177.27
231Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area270174.92
232Jackson, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area274174.61
233College Station-Bryan, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area462172.24
234Beckley, WV Metropolitan Statistical Area197171.33
235Ogden-Clearfield, UT Metropolitan Statistical Area1,184171.26
236Trenton-Princeton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area627170.73
237Madison, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area1,144170.63
238Rockford, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area566169.42
239Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area589166.34
240Grand Island, NE Metropolitan Statistical Area125165.95
241Tyler, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area387164.12
242Sebring-Avon Park, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area175164.11
243Abilene, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area284163.99
244Bloomington, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area276163.26
245Hilton Head Island-Bluffton, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area369162.38
246Walla Walla, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area99161.52
247Lewiston, ID-WA Metropolitan Statistical Area102160.44
248Fort Collins, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area570158.15
249Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area266158.04
250Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area457157.88
251Kankakee, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area169155.63
252Dalton, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area223155.00
253Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area5,019154.72
254Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area402152.88
255Kokomo, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area124149.88
256Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area911149.72
257Fort Wayne, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area623149.56
258Springfield, MA Metropolitan Statistical Area1,038149.21
259Champaign-Urbana, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area335148.53
260Lima, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area151148.07
261Syracuse, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area948146.74
262Rocky Mount, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area212145.52
263Carson City, NV Metropolitan Statistical Area81144.56
264Raleigh-Cary, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area2,053144.54
265Valdosta, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area214144.24
266Bend, OR Metropolitan Statistical Area290143.73
267Gainesville, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area288139.41
268Columbus, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area116137.36
269Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area926136.19
270Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area1,011135.79
271Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area2,202135.60
272Norwich-New London, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area358135.09
273Bay City, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area138134.78
274Rochester, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area1,434134.33
275La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area184134.18
276Brownsville-Harlingen, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area569134.14
277Iowa City, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area233132.59
278Muskegon, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area230132.27
279North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area1,115130.46
280Idaho Falls, ID Metropolitan Statistical Area202130.02
281Dover, DE Metropolitan Statistical Area236128.51
282Janesville-Beloit, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area208127.54
283Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area185125.84
284Houma-Thibodaux, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area259124.85
285Wilmington, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area376124.80
286Manhattan, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area160122.94
287Jacksonville, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area246120.62
288Danville, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area90120.23
289Monroe, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area181120.21
290Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area272118.63
291New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area22,539117.85
292Flagstaff, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area165115.80
293Morgantown, WV Metropolitan Statistical Area162115.55
294Racine, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area226115.42
295Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area183112.60
296Mansfield, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area136112.50
297Boise City, ID Metropolitan Statistical Area864112.16
298Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area885111.92
299Auburn-Opelika, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area185110.89
300St. George, UT Metropolitan Statistical Area205110.86
301Wenatchee, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area134110.62
302McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area962109.92
303Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area256109.74
304Grand Forks, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area110109.58
305The Villages, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area152109.34
306Naples-Marco Island, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area429109.17
307Provo-Orem, UT Metropolitan Statistical Area720108.57
308Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area569107.07
309Eau Claire, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area181106.47
310Greenville, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area193105.51
311Lynchburg, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area278105.15
312Rochester, MN Metropolitan Statistical Area233104.46
313Corvallis, OR Metropolitan Statistical Area96102.96
314Hinesville, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area85102.19
315Ames, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area126101.19
316Coeur d'Alene, ID Metropolitan Statistical Area171100.22
317Staunton, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area12298.01
318Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metropolitan Statistical Area4,69496.22
319Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area84496.07
320Ann Arbor, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area34894.96
321Worcester, MA-CT Metropolitan Statistical Area89194.21
322Laredo, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area26193.99
323Port St. Lucie, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area46392.73
324Green Bay, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area29791.84
325San Juan-Bayamón-Caguas, PR Metropolitan Statistical Area1,83791.72
326Saginaw, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area17491.64
327California-Lexington Park, MD Metropolitan Statistical Area10490.68
328Punta Gorda, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area17690.39
329New Bern, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area10988.48
330Wheeling, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area12087.45
331Twin Falls, ID Metropolitan Statistical Area9886.73
332Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area73386.60
333Reading, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area35584.32
334Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area10783.95
335Bangor, ME Metropolitan Statistical Area12783.74
336Burlington-South Burlington, VT Metropolitan Statistical Area18583.65
337Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area24383.46
338Erie, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area22483.45
339Scranton--Wilkes-Barre, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area45983.07
340York-Hanover, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area37382.81
341Mankato, MN Metropolitan Statistical Area8582.75
342Johnstown, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area10682.38
343Ocean City, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area7581.93
344Charlottesville, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area18081.85
345Appleton, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area19179.92
346Elmira, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area6578.67
347Altoona, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area9578.51
348Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area1,78977.47
349Winchester, VA-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area11077.46
350Salisbury, MD-DE Metropolitan Statistical Area31674.62
351Oshkosh-Neenah, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area12673.41
352Wausau-Weston, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area11671.10
353Bloomington, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area12070.07
354Binghamton, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area16669.95
355Pittsfield, MA Metropolitan Statistical Area8769.84
356Prescott Valley-Prescott, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area16669.10
357Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area40269.08
358Manchester-Nashua, NH Metropolitan Statistical Area28768.54
359Utica-Rome, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area19667.99
360Lewiston-Auburn, ME Metropolitan Statistical Area6862.65
361Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area5060.33
362Arecibo, PR Metropolitan Statistical Area10258.89
363Guayama, PR Metropolitan Statistical Area4258.14
364Dubuque, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area5657.38
365Blacksburg-Christiansburg, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area9556.80
366Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area5455.80
367Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area6253.83
368Fond du Lac, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area5553.45
369Logan, UT-ID Metropolitan Statistical Area7753.39
370Lancaster, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area29153.28
371Sheboygan, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area6152.93
372Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area35251.88
373Portland-South Portland, ME Metropolitan Statistical Area27049.70
374East Stroudsburg, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area8348.78
375Kingston, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area8447.27
376Harrisonburg, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area6447.22
377Midland, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area3845.54
378Gettysburg, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area4543.80
379Watertown-Fort Drum, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area4440.70
380Mayagüez, PR Metropolitan Statistical Area3537.47
381Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area5736.62
382Williamsport, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area3833.57
383Ithaca, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area2928.70
384Barnstable Town, MA Metropolitan Statistical Area5927.68
385Lebanon, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area3726.12
386Glens Falls, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area2721.71
387Ponce, PR Metropolitan Statistical Area4420.81
388Aguadilla-Isabela, PR Metropolitan Statistical Area5117.83
389State College, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area2817.34
390Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI Metropolitan Statistical Area-0.00

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB)

Top 10 most stolen cars

Now that you know what areas are hot for car theft, let's look at the vehicles that car thieves are more likely to steal. The Ford full-size pickup was the most stolen car in 2020 for the second year in a row and the Chevy full-size pickup grabbed second place, according to the more recent figures released by the NICB. In fact, almost half of the most stolen vehicles in the top 10 were pickups.

Overall, there were 880,595 vehicle thefts across the country in 2020, which is up 11% from 794,019 in 2019, according to the NICB. This breaks down to one stolen vehicle every 36 seconds. Every vehicle in the top 10 saw an increase in thefts from 2019, in fact, the Chevy pickup saw a 25.7 percent increase.

Here are the 10 most common vehicles stolen in 2020, according to The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB):

#Vehicle Make & ModelTheftsIncrease from 2019Most Common Model Year Stolen
1Ford Full Size Pick-up44,01413.00%2006
2Chevrolet Full Size Pick-up40,96825.70%2004
3Honda Civic34,1442.80%2000
4Honda Accord30,8140.20%1997
5Toyota Camry16,9158.00%2019
6Nissan Altima14,6689.80%2020
7GMC Full Size Pick-up13,01616.60%2005
8Toyota Corolla12,5153.10%2020
9Honda CR-V12,30921.90%2000
10Dodge Full Size Pick-up11,9916.20%2001

How to prevent car theft

The NICB offers a four-pronged approach to preventing thefts:

  • Remove your keys, roll up the windows, lock the doors and park in a well-lit area.
  • Deploy a visible or audible device warning that your car is protected – a steering-wheel lock or an audible alarm.
  • Install an immobilizing device that keeps thieves from starting the car – smart keys, kill switches, fuse cut-offs and fuel-pump disablers.
  • Utilize devices that track and recover a stolen car, such as onboard telematics systems.

Car insurance and car theft

Regardless of where you live or what type of car you drive, you should know what to do if your car is stolen, because approximately 42% of stolen vehicles are never recovered, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

When it comes to car theft, you must be carrying comprehensive coverage to be protected. It should be noted that if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, your lender will require that you carry full coverage, which includes comprehensive.

Comprehensive is a relatively small part of most drivers' premiums and will pay out the actual cash value of your car if it's stolen. This optional coverage comes with a deductible, the portion you pay on a claim before insurance kicks in to cover the balance. Deductibles vary, but $500 is a common amount.

FAQs

Does car insurance cover car theft?

Yes, but only if you are carrying comprehensive coverage on your policy. Comprehensive is not legally required coverage. But if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, your lender will require that you carry full coverage (which includes comprehensive).

Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle from damage that is caused by something other than an accident or collision. It not only covers theft but also animal strikes, hail, wind, flooding, fire, fallen objects and vandalism.

If you are not carrying comprehensive coverage, you will be on the hook for the cost to replace your vehicle if it is stolen.

What percent of stolen cars are recovered?

Nationwide, approximately 42% of stolen cars are never recovered, according to the NHTSA.

According to the California Highway Patrol's 2020 Vehicle Theft report, roughly 89.2% of stolen vehicles in California were recovered. However, just because they were found doesn't mean they were in the same condition as when they were stolen. According to the CHP:

  • 63.6% vehicles were intact and in drivable condition.
  • 3.1% cars were missing major components.
  • 8.6% were stripped of minor parts.
  • 24.6% were intentionally burned and/or wrecked.

How does a stolen car affect insurance rates?

In most cases, a stolen car claim on your policy will raise your rates, but the severity of the increase will depend on your specific insurance company. Insurance companies have proprietary surcharge schedules, which will determine your rate increase after an issue such as a speeding ticket, an accident claim and a claim for car theft.

tip iconTIPAccording to Lauren Mckenzie, an Insurance Broker at A Plus Insurance: "Your premium increase will be impacted by the amount the insurer had to pay out for the vehicle, as well as if the vehicle was recovered or not. If you have a previously stolen vehicle claim on your insurance record, expect your premiums to skyrocket."

How does location factor into car insurance rates?

Insurance companies consider a variety of factors when calculating a car insurance premium. These factors not only include your driving record and the type of vehicle you are driving but also where you live and where your vehicle is stored.

If you live in a high-crime area, you will pay more for car insurance. In most cases, drivers in major urban areas will pay more for coverage than drivers in rural areas. This is due to statistics showing that more car accidents and thefts occur in cities.

Finally, you will pay more for coverage if your vehicle spends the night parked on the street instead of in a garage. All of these location factors will impact your car insurance rates.

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