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New Mexico's Albuquerque metropolitan area, which includes Bernalillo County, repeats as having the highest per capita auto theft rate in 2018, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) latest car-theft by city metro area report.

Car being broken into

NICB’s report analyzes vehicle theft data from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) for each of the nation’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA). These areas often include many other cities and towns beyond the namesake city.

Another note on the findings: as a population-based survey, an area with fewer people and a moderate number of thefts can—and often does—have a higher theft rate than an area with a much higher theft rate and a larger population to absorb it. That's why the St. Joseph, Missouri metro area, with 674 thefts, placed tenth, while Los Angeles, with 53,928 ranked at No. 38.

Key findings from the NICB's most recent research:

  • About $6 billion was lost to motor vehicle theft in 2017.
  • The average dollar loss per theft was $7,708.
  • Motor vehicles were stolen at a rate of 237.4 per 100,000 people in 2017, virtually unchanged from 237.3 in 2016 but down 24.7 % from 2008.
  • In 2017, 773,139 vehicles were stolen, up 0.8% from 767,290 vehicles in 2016.
  • One motor vehicle theft was reported every 40.9 seconds in the United States in 2017.

The historic peak year for vehicle theft was 1991, with 1,661,738 reported thefts. In 2017, the total was 773,139. That is a 53% reduction since 1991.

Regardless of where vehicles are stolen the most, the reasons for theft typically remain the same. Older vehicles are usually stolen and chopped up so parts can be sold, while newer models are often shipped overseas or fraudulently modified and resold, according to the NICB.

Comprehensive Car Insurance Covers Theft

If your vehicle is stolen, you must have comprehensive car insurance to file a claim to replace it. When getting a quote for comprehensive coverage, you will need to choose a deductible amount. A deductible is the amount you’re responsible for paying before your insurance benefits start to pay out. Comprehensive insurance also covers damage due to flooding, fire, hail, wind, vandalism and animal strikes, in addition to theft. If your car is stolen and you make claim, you'll get up to the actual cash value of your car, minus your deductible.

The value of the car, your driving record, the deductible you choose and repair costs determine the cost of comprehensive coverage, but it is usually very affordable. The average annual cost nationwide for comprehensive coverage is just $192, according to a rate analysis.

But you can reduce your chances for theft, and trim your car insurance rates, by using anti-theft devices. Insurance companies will typically grant car insurance discounts of up to 15%, but sometimes even more depending on the device you have, if your car has theft protection.

Below are 382 metro areas with populations over 50,000, ranked by rate of thefts per 100,000 residents, as calculated by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

2018 Rank City/Metro Area 2018 Thefts 2018 Theft Rate
1Albuquerque, NM7,146780.19
2Anchorage, AK3,087773.4
3Bakersfield, CA6,748752.48
4Pueblo, CO1,175701.37
5Modesto, CA3,428623.48
6Redding, CA1,037575.98
7Stockton-Lodi, CA4,287569.58
8Wichita, KS3,547550.02
9Vallejo-Fairfield, CA2,404538.28
10St. Joseph, MO-KS674532.85
11Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA24,113521.66
12Billings, MT894520.75
13Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO14,845506.24
14Tulsa, OK5,019505.03
15Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA12,470503.06
16Merced, CA1,369498.24
17Yuba City, CA867495.86
18San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA23,064487.66
19Joplin, MO847473.44
20Topeka, KS1,090468.63
21Chico, CA1,083468.31
22Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA18,371466.34
23Yakima, WA1,172466.1
24Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV10,364464.41
25Lubbock, TX1,477462.91
26Fresno, CA4,537456.26
27Charleston, WV959454.42
28Visalia-Porterville, CA2,116454.21
29Kansas City, MO-KS9,712453.06
30Springfield, MO2,105450.77
31Odessa, TX726447.81
32Columbia, SC3,728447.72
33Salt Lake City, UT5,458446.45
34Memphis, TN-MS-AR5,950440.54
35Mobile, AL1,803435.76
36Amarillo, TX1,156434.67
37Colorado Springs, CO3,039411.27
38Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA53,928405.73
39Salinas, CA1,744400.37
40Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA9,381400.01
41Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA2,279397.39
42Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR2,938396.44
43Oklahoma City, OK5,487392.93
44Grants Pass, OR343392.48
45Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN5,046388.96
46Hot Springs, AR385388.28
47Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA3,595381.55
48Great Falls, MT307376.03
49Chattanooga, TN-GA2,107375.72
50Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN7,635372.67
51Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC3,364371.05
52New Orleans-Metairie, LA4,677368.15
53Montgomery, AL1,366366
54Lake Charles, LA764363.67
55Salem, OR1,562361.49
56Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI5,561352.83
57Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX24,481349.86
58Macon-Bibb County, GA801348.66
59Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA954347.85
60Birmingham-Hoover, AL3,971344.76
61Tucson, AZ3,574343.96
62Corpus Christi, TX1,552342.64
63Pine Bluff, AR299334.02
64Sumter, SC354332.36
65St. Louis, MO-IL9,319332.17
66San Diego-Carlsbad, CA11,091331.73
67Parkersburg-Vienna, WV297329.88
68Spartanburg, SC1,121328.45
69Cleveland, TN405327.6
70Elkhart-Goshen, IN672326.91
71Reno, NV1,535326.76
72Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL20,045323.37
73Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA19,184322.42
74Terre Haute, IN546321.7
75Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL1,227321.67
76Madera, CA502318.38
77Charleston-North Charleston, SC2,504317.91
78San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX7,993317.43
79Savannah, GA1,227315.02
80Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL358313.27
81Columbus, GA-AL954312.33
82Hanford-Corcoran, CA467308.52
83Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX23,261308.51
84South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI986305.81
85Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS1,210304.59
86Jackson, MS1,755302.5
87New Haven-Milford, CT2,578300.6
88Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC1,099298.3
89Fairbanks, AK289292
90Shreveport-Bossier City, LA1,271291.29
91Medford, OR637290.12
92Springfield, IL602289.93
93Dayton, OH2,325288.27
94Florence, SC590287.86
95Tuscaloosa, AL688282.46
96Honolulu (Urban), HI2,763281.92
97Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD7,824279.15
98Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ13,469277.26
99Midland, TX494277.01
100Morristown, TN325274.07
101Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL402273.19
102Tallahassee, FL1,049272.36
103Baton Rouge, LA2,249270.54
104Las Cruces, NM587269.86
105Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA1,766269.45
106Panama City, FL542269.05
107Alexandria, LA409267.24
108Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ559266.76
109Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI11,507265.97
110Gadsden, AL269262.44
111Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN5,067262.41
112El Centro, CA477262.34
113Jacksonville, FL4,021262.01
114Huntsville, AL1,205260.43
115San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA5,160258.12
116Columbus, OH5,437258.1
117Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX1,056257.86
118Cleveland-Elyria, OH5,301257.7
119Longview, WA277254.16
120Hammond, LA340254.15
121Yuma, AZ539254.09
122Jonesboro, AR336253.52
123Cheyenne, WY250252.59
124Texarkana, TX-AR377250.93
125Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA761248.19
126Rapid City, SD367246.72
127Evansville, IN-KY774245.97
128Lawton, OK305241.68
129Jackson, TN311240.7
130Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI8,734240.66
131Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL6,168239.72
132Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO1,314239.29
133Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI22,688238.85
134Fayetteville, NC922238.19
135Santa Fe, NM357237.91
136Lexington-Fayette, KY1,228237.66
137Knoxville, TN2,090236.61
138San Angelo, TX283236.4
139Muncie, IN271236.12
140Hattiesburg, MS352235.59
141Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA1,998234.79
142Goldsboro, NC288233.68
143Ocala, FL837232.51
144Durham-Chapel Hill, NC1,332231.49
145Eugene, OR878231.29
146Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA1,032231.12
147Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC1,393230.57
148Monroe, LA406229.63
149Farmington, NM286228.72
150Richmond, VA2,986228.61
151Olympia-Tumwater, WA654228.34
152Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC5,850227.7
153Greeley, CO713226.85
154Johnson City, TN459226.42
155Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA289225.42
156Boulder, CO718220.19
157Columbia, MO396219.99
158Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT2,647219.43
159Sioux Falls, SD581218.71
160Longview, TX478217.85
161Asheville, NC994216.28
162Clarksville, TN-KY632216.24
163Greensboro-High Point, NC1,654215.45
164Napa, CA299214.46
165Gainesville, FL615213.38
166Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL1,053212.78
167Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC1,018211.69
168Kalamazoo-Portage, MI717210.69
169Springfield, OH280208.05
170Roanoke, VA647205.94
171Sherman-Denison, TX275205.24
172Fort Smith, AR-OK576204.03
173Wichita Falls, TX308203.56
174Rome, GA198202.19
175Cedar Rapids, IA545200.15
176Missoula, MT237199.51
177Albany, GA305199.33
178Trenton, NJ731197.67
179Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC3,400196.68
180Columbus, IN161194.55
181Austin-Round Rock, TX4,215194.39
182El Paso, TX1,641194.07
183Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC420192.94
184Albany, OR243190.84
185Decatur, AL290190.73
186Athens-Clarke County, GA403190.72
187Lawrence, KS231190.22
188Jefferson City, MO287189.41
189Santa Rosa, CA942188.42
190Homosassa Springs, FL276186.58
191Wilmington, NC546185.44
192St. Cloud, MN369184.68
193Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD11,214183.95
194Bloomington, IN306182.4
195Rockford, IL613181.54
196Owensboro, KY216181.34
197Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL1,189180.26
198Winston-Salem, NC1,210180.21
199Valdosta, GA263179.92
200Akron, OH1,266179.61
201Toledo, OH1,082179.47
202Pocatello, ID156179.03
203Cape Girardeau, MO-IL173178.38
204Abilene, TX305177.89
205Lansing-East Lansing, MI857177.84
206Victoria, TX177177.68
207Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN3,891177.65
208Duluth, MN-WI488175.04
209Flint, MI711174.74
210Sioux City, IA-NE-SD294173.92
211Warner Robins, GA337173.86
212Dalton, GA250173.63
213Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL5,429172.75
214Grand Junction, CO261170.36
215Waco, TX463170.26
216Killeen-Temple, TX769170.25
217Brunswick, GA199167.99
218Fargo, ND-MN411167.43
219Bismarck, ND222167.32
220Rocky Mount, NC242165.73
221Casper, WY131165.58
222Gainesville, GA333164.73
223Peoria, IL603163.69
224Fort Wayne, IN708161.78
225Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV10,097161.55
226Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL958160.51
227Sebring, FL168159.36
228Canton-Massillon, OH632158.53
229Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT1,495158.4
230Bremerton-Silverdale, WA427158.26
231Manhattan, KS155158.2
232Lewiston, ID-WA98155.51
233Mansfield, OH188155.24
234Danville, IL119154.94
235College Station-Bryan, TX405154.33
236Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY236153.87
237Kennewick-Richland, WA455153.6
238Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL1,080152.54
239Lafayette, LA740151.22
240Michigan City-La Porte, IN166150.9
241Springfield, MA947149.9
242Bowling Green, KY265149.35
243The Villages, FL192149.12
244Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL1,122148.69
245Muskegon, MI257148.05
246Carson City, NV82147.98
247Dothan, AL219147.73
248Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH507143.7
249Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL313143.56
250Decatur, IL150143.25
251Kokomo, IN116140.83
252Lincoln, NE467139.57
253Madison, WI917138.85
254Providence-Warwick, RI-MA2,208136.18
255Jackson, MI215135.37
256Burlington, NC225135.19
257Bellingham, WA305135.14
258Raleigh, NC1,812132.99
259Houma-Thibodaux, LA277132.45
260Ogden-Clearfield, UT893132.28
261Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY1,492132.02
262Niles-Benton Harbor, MI202131.05
263Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ197130.49
264Wenatchee, WA154128.39
265Brownsville-Harlingen, TX543128.09
266San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA363127.81
267Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA215126.72
268Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL352126.33
269North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL1,034125.86
270Tyler, TX289125.53
271Enid, OK75123.13
272Battle Creek, MI164121.94
273Jacksonville, NC241121.91
274Boise City, ID885121.16
275McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX1,042120.33
276Grand Forks, ND-MN122119.26
277New Bern, NC147117.39
278Greenville, NC211117.28
279Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA631117.08
280Coeur d'Alene, ID189117.02
281Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ310116.79
282Flagstaff, AZ165115.5
283Auburn-Opelika, AL188114.68
284Dover, DE204114.25
285Lynchburg, VA300113.92
286Laredo, TX313113.44
287Grand Island, NE95111.65
288Fort Collins, CO390111.26
289Hinesville, GA89110.57
290Kankakee, IL120109.07
291Walla Walla, WA69106.18
292Syracuse, NY687105.61
293Lima, OH108105.2
294Iowa City, IA180103.81
295Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ131103.34
296Bend-Redmond, OR197102.61
297Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV275102.59
298St. George, UT173100.76
299New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA19,78999.05
300Idaho Falls, ID14798.72
301Morgantown, WV13797.68
302Staunton-Waynesboro, VA12097.56
303York-Hanover, PA43597.04
304Reading, PA40095.2
305Monroe, MI14395.06
306Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL14994.66
307Punta Gorda, FL17594.6
308Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ79594.32
309Saginaw, MI17993.82
310Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL35493.53
311Pittsburgh, PA2,16893.26
312Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH4,54693.24
313Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN20592.41
314Twin Falls, ID10191.74
315Beckley, WV10791.24
316Mankato-North Mankato, MN9290.51
317Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA51088.75
318Wheeling, WV-OH12488.54
319La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN12188.45
320Eau Claire, WI14686.56
321Rochester, NY92386.17
322Ann Arbor, MI31685.18
323Port St. Lucie, FL40984.85
324Janesville-Beloit, WI13783.98
325Rochester, MN18483.71
326Oshkosh-Neenah, WI14383.62
327Racine, WI16282.41
328Dubuque, IA7981.57
329Provo-Orem, UT51581.26
330Ames, IA7980.53
331Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY70279.49
332Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton, PA44179.39
333Prescott, AZ18378.88
334East Stroudsburg, PA13076.69
335Green Bay, WI24475.87
336Norwich-New London, CT20175.34
337Bloomington, IL14074.23
338Pittsfield, MA9373.61
339Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI75970.97
340Champaign-Urbana, IL16769.69
341Cumberland, MD-WV6869.45
342Burlington-South Burlington, VT15369.2
343Charlottesville, VA16268.87
344Erie, PA18467.63
345Bay City, MI6966.4
346Carbondale-Marion, IL8165.07
347Worcester, MA-CT61464.78
348California-Lexington Park, MD7062.13
349Appleton, WI14561.05
350Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA5160.93
351Fond du Lac, WI6260.16
352Corvallis, OR5559.72
353Manchester-Nashua, NH24458.76
354Winchester, VA-WV8258.65
355Lancaster, PA31457.77
356Wausau, WI7756.86
357Johnstown, PA7153.9
358Bangor, ME7952.28
359Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA7649.08
360Binghamton, NY11648.29
361Portland-South Portland, ME25547.63
362Utica-Rome, NY13747.01
363Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH5446.13
364Lewiston-Auburn, ME4945.51
365Ocean City, NJ4245.38
366Kingston, NY8044.79
367Altoona, PA5343.27
368Williamsport, PA4842.23
369Sheboygan, WI4740.71
370Logan, UT-ID5539.06
371Midland, MI3238.46
372Lebanon, PA5337.51
373Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA6836.95
374Barnstable Town, MA7334.21
375Harrisonburg, VA4432.53
376Elmira, NY2630.86
377Ithaca, NY2928.21
378Watertown-Fort Drum, NY3127.74
379Glens Falls, NY3124.71
380Gettysburg, PA2423.34
381Salisbury, MD-DE8420.49
382State College, PA3018.43