5 Best and 5 Worst Cities for Car Theft in the U.S.

Having your car stolen is a stressful situation unlike any other. Car theft is one of the more common crimes committed across the United States every day. The reasons that some use for stealing cars varies among thieves. Because of the stress and hassle it can cause, you’ll want to know which cities have fewer stolen cars per capita and which have a higher rate. Below are both the best five cities and the worst five cities for car theft per car capita according to WalletHub.

Cities with the Least Car Theft

These areas span across the United States from the East to West Coasts. Several of these cities are family-friendly and were populated by families across the country looking to create a better environment. Most of these residents own newer model vehicles which make stealing them much harder. 

Gilbert, AZ

Interestingly enough, Gilbert AZ was one of the fastest-growing cities in the 1990s, growing their population by 10 times in just under 13 years. Despite this growth in citizens and their cars, car theft is not a common crime in this tucked-away corner of Arizona. 

Laredo, TX

One of the southernmost points of the United States, Laredo TX sits directly on the country’s border with Mexico. A culturally diverse town, there is so much to experience and work to be done at this inland port, that car theft is minimal. 

New York, NY

While car theft was a larger crime decades ago in this city, New York NY is seeing much less of this crime today. Car theft is not as easy as it once was, and is even harder to conduct in a city as large as New York. Since there is access to public transportation around every corner in this city, the appeal for car theft has decreased with time.

Irvine, CA

This city is one of the top 100 most populated cities across the nation and experiences lots of visitors due to its access to parks in the area. Despite this high traffic, Irvine is one of the most family-friendly cities with some of the lowest crime rates

Scottsdale, AZ

Another family-friendly city, Scottsdale AZ is located in the Sonoran Desert. It has developed as an escape town for those looking to get out of the fast-pace of Phoenix. With the community business and family-focused, crime is not as high in this city.

Cities with the Most Car Theft

Ironically, all five of the worst cities with high car thefts per capita happen in the Midwest and Western states where cars are essential for daily transportation. There is minimal public transportation offered in these areas, which increases the desire for many to pursue this crime.

San Bernardino CA

Just outside of Los Angeles, residents of San Bernardino CA are experiencing some of the highest car thefts in the country. Although it is a thriving community, this success attracts car thieves looking for classic cars to claim in the city.

Portland OR

With homelessness and high drug use on the rise in Portland OR, many cars that are being warmed up in their driveways are stolen daily in this city. Often times, they are taken by those looking for a warm or dry place to rest or those looking to make a trade for their addiction. 

Detroit MI

The scene in Detroit MI is similar to Portland, with car thefts being common per capita. A lot of this is contributed to the high presence of older cars that are easier to steal. These cars can be stolen and taken to a chop shop where they receive quick cash for the metal value of the car. 

Oakland CA

Crime in Oakland CA is elevated compared to surrounding cities in all areas, including car thefts. Older cars are also more present in Oakland CA, making them an easy target for car theft in the area. 

Albuquerque NM

The scene for car theft in  New Mexico is a little different. Residents in Albuquerque NM are watching their cars more frequently due to the overnight car theft from 1:00 am to 5:00 am. Most cars that are stolen are residential and in apartment complexes.