Albuquerque, New Mexico, recorded the highest rate of vehicle thefts in the U.S. in 2017 as vehicle thefts increased 4.1% across the nation, reports the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Each year, the bureau analyzes thefts reported to law enforcement and releases a top 10 list with its "Hot Spots" report.
In 2017, Albuquerque saw 9,989 thefts followed by Anchorage, Alaska (3,274); Pueblo, Colo. (1,353); Redding, Calif. (1,352); and St. Joseph, Mo. (952). The Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) that includes the counties of Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance, and Valencia had an estimated population of 909,906 through 2016, according to federal data. The area was at the top of the list in the 2016 report.
Areas with high per-capita theft rates are considered more problematic that areas with high aggregate number of thefts such as Los Angeles, which had 60,444 thefts and ranks 33 on the list.
Other areas with high per-capital vehicle theft rates include Bakersfield, Calif. (6,560); Modesto, Calif. (3,870); Stockton-Lodi, Calif. (4,575); Yuba City, Calif. (1,050); and Springfield, Mo. (2,686).
The bureau uses data reported by law enforcement agencies to the FBI as part of the Uniform Crime Report from the MSAs, which are designated by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. The report doesn't include unreported thefts.