Despite a 28% reduction in auto thefts over a two-year period, the Albuquerque, New Mexico area still had the nation’s highest vehicle theft rate in 2018, the National Insurance Crime Bureau said a report released today.
The Anchorage, Alaska metropolitan statistical area ranked second in the annual survey. Five of the remaining top ten “hot spots” were in California: Bakersfield at third, Modesto at fifth, Redding at sixth, Stockton-Lodi at seventh and Vallejo-Fairfield at ninth.
Pueblo, Colorado; Wichita, Kansas; and St. Joseph, Missouri filled out the top ten list, ranking fourth, eighth and 10th, respectively.
The NICB ranks vehicle theft rates according to the number in proportion to the population of each metropolitan statistical area. The Albuquerque area had a theft rate of 780 per 100,000 registered vehicles, compared to 773 in Anchorage.
State College, Pennsylvania had the lowest vehicle theft rate out of more than 400 metropolitan areas, with only 18.43 thefts per 100,000 registered vehicles, according to the NICB report.
Nationally, vehicle theft has been on the decline since 2004, after peaking at 1,661,783 reported thefts in 1991, the bureau said. In 2017, there were 773,139 reported thefts, a 53% reduction from the all-time high.
The NICB said preliminary information from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report released earlier this year indicates vehicle thefts declined an additional 3.3% this year.
“Vehicle manufacturers, law enforcement and legislatures have been responsive to the crime of vehicle theft over the years, and the results are evident,” the NICB said. “Vehicle owners must guard against complacency and remember to heed simple tips to safeguard their vehicles.”
The bureau said the theft rate in Albuquerque area declined after the appointment of a statewide Auto Theft Prevention Authority in 2018.
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