Cities With The Most Stolen Cars in America

Car theft has become a distressing issue among drivers – especially in the last few years – with the number of motor vehicle thefts reaching 880,000 a year in the US alone.

The percentage of carjackings and vehicles stolen, in general, jumped considerably from 2020.

Many major cities and car insurance companies in the US are currently dealing with the rising issue of stolen cars. We are here to offer details and statistics on the number of motor vehicles stolen across the US.

So, today, we’ll be dealing with locations where auto theft occurs more frequently.

Check out the list of cities with the most vehicle thefts in the US to see whether your city is affected by this crime. Share on X

Top 10 Cities With Most Car Thefts Recorded

Here are the ten cities that have been recorded as “hot spots” according to the recent number of motor vehicle thefts.

Bakersfield, California

  • Population data: 718,000
  • Motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents: 726

Between 2020 and 2021, the statistics for California vehicles stolen have gone up by 29%. This rise in car theft is what put Bakersfield in the first place as the city with the most commonly stolen vehicles.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Population data: 918,018
  • Motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents: 632

Denver, Colorado

  • Population data: 2,897,000
  • Motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents: 706

Odessa, Texas

  • Population data: 1,008,000
  • Motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents: 664

Chicago, Illinois

  • Population data: 2,699,347
  • Motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents: 1,800

Currently, Chicago is the carjacking capital, taking into account the population rate-car stolen ratio.

Mobile, Alabama

  • Population data: 429,536
  • Motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents: 304

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Population data: 6.2 million
  • Motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents: 800

New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Population data: 1,005,000
  • Motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents: 281

Detroit, Michigan

  • Population data: 3.5 million
  • Motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents: 1,037

Detroit is home to the motor industry of the United States and General Motors – one of the biggest automotive manufacturing companies to date. Naturally, it’s “the cradle of carjacking,” and the rising numbers seem to put a stamp on this unfortunate nickname.

Springfield, Massachusetts

  • Population data: 697,382
  • Motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents: 149

Besides the hots-pots that we have outlined above, Denver, Aurora Lakewood, San Francisco, Oakland Berkeley, San Jose, and Yuba City have shown a worrisome percentage of auto theft statistics.

Most Stolen Car Brands

When it comes to car theft statistics, it’s not enough to just pay attention to where the highest auto theft rate is, but also to the vehicle models that are most commonly carjacked.

Here are the specific models that are most commonly targeted by car thieves:

Ford Pickup

Ford F-Series has had a successful year in 2021 by selling 877,720 units – and accounting for 14% of the entire market. That also made it a primary target of auto theft.

In 2020, the reported auto thefts on this model were 44,014 – a 13% increase, similar to the year it showed the best sales statistics. The most popular model for car theft was the Ford F-series 2006 model.

Honda Civic

Honda owners had a lot to worry about, given the police reports that showed a national average of 33,144 stolen vehicles per 100,000 residents in 2020 alone. This model is vulnerable because it lacks the anti-theft technology found in newer cars.

The growing number of thefts caused a major economic downturn for this model.

Chevrolet Pickup

The Chevy Silverado Pickup truck has become a popular target for motor vehicle theft, with a recorded increase of 27% between 2019 and 2020. It’s a commonly stolen vehicle because of its strong engine and towing capacity.

The most common target of car theft is the 2004 Chevy pickup.

Toyota Camry

US auto thieves know that the Camry is the most commonly owned family sedan in the entire country – and many owners have spare parts for this vehicle, as well. For carjackers, that meant both demand and opportunity.

In 2020, a police report showed 17,000 stolen sedans in the US, making this the most commonly stolen vehicle in America.

Nisan Altima

The Nisan Altima model is famous among carjackers because it’s used for reselling purposes. An experienced car thief can sell this model for a good amount of cash.

This four-door sedan has been the target of car thieves 14,600 times in just one year.

What Do You Do If Someone Tries To Carjack Your Vehicle?

When it comes to motor vehicle thefts, it’s essential to keep the following tips in mind and act accordingly.

First and foremost, you should avoid areas known for high crime statistics. That means staying away from:

  • Lesser traveled roads (spots with the highest auto theft rates recorded in the US)
  • Isolated areas in parking lots
  • Traffic jams or congested areas

Does Car Insurance Cover Motor Vehicle Thefts?

Yes, your insurance covers car theft – but only if you purchase the comprehensive coverage.

Suppose your car was stolen and not returned. In that case, the insurance company pays for the actual cash value of your vehicle. In some cases, though, you might even have to purchase both the comprehensive and collision insurance – especially if your car is on a lease or you loaned it.

Owners of older car models should compare the value of their car to the deductibles to see how much of the value can be covered.

Auto insurance experts or licensed insurance agents can help you resolve any doubts you may have about the process. Furthermore, the Insurance Information Institute helps car owners understand insurance – what it is, how it works, and how it can help YOU.

National Insurance Crime Bureau: How Can It Help?

The National Insurance Crime Bureau, or NICB, is the nation’s first aid in helping victims fight crime and insurance fraud. Moreover, this non-profit organization aspires to help people avoid buying a stolen car – or being denied insurance.

On that note, you can check the Vehicle Identification Number through their database.

Anyone who has any info on car theft or insurance fraud can report it anonymously by visiting the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s official website.

Car Theft: Summing Up

A number of cities in the US have shown a worrying percentage of carjackings.

We’ve been able to list some of the cities with the highest auto theft rates in the country, draw attention to the specific car models that thieves are after – and see how the insurance industry helps in these situations.

The cars that have been stolen can be compensated for by your insurance – or tracked down by the Federal Bureau. The police departments across the US are actively tracking down thieves – and updating the already high vehicle theft rates to keep people informed.

There’s one more thing car owners can do regarding car thefts in their area:

You can pick the right insurance company by comparison shopping with Insurance Geek.

We specialize in car insurance-related issues – and all our clients can use our free quote tool to compare multiple quotes and purchase a policy that fits their budgets and their needs.

Use our free auto insurance comparison, search through auto insurance rates – and worry less.

Go ahead and try our free online resource now.