Top 10 Cities With The Most Car Thefts

Most people around the U.S. depend on having a car. They need it for work commutes, medical appointments, errands, ferrying their kids around, and enjoying time with family and friends. If you have a car, one of the things you’ll need to find out when choosing a home is whether the local area is safe for your car.

1. Commerce, CA (2,742 vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents)

This small, sunny city in Los Angeles County has a name that suggests prosperity and thriving businesses. Unfortunately, average incomes in Commerce are lower than in California, and the overall crime rate is 244 percent higher than the crime rate for the state. In 2016, Commerce experienced 360 reported cases of vehicle theft, close to one for each day of the year. Once the site of a major automobile manufacturing facility, Commerce now leads the way in the highest rate of vehicle thefts in the country.

2. Tukwila, WA (2,644 vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents)

A suburb of Seattle, Tukwila is best known for being the home of Westfield Southcenter, a massive shopping mall with hundreds of stores and restaurants. Unfortunately, Tukwila has also gained notoriety for its crime rate, which is 330 percent higher than the average crime rate for Washington. Property crime, including vehicle theft, is rampant. If you live in Tukwila, work at one of its corporate facilities, or are planning to visit for a day of shopping, you’ll want to make sure that your car alarm is activated.

3. Union City, GA (1,742 vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents)

Union City attracts people because of its proximity to Atlanta and its relatively low cost of living. But anyone who wants to move to Union City should know about the high rates of vehicle theft and other crimes. Although the city receives rail service and offers public bus transportation, many residents still use a car to get around. They need to realize that the rate of vehicle theft is roughly 1,742 per 100,000 people, which compares unfavorably to a rate of about 260 per 100,000 people for Georgia as a whole.

4. East Point, GA (1,626 vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents)

In the late 1800s, East Point got its start as a tiny settlement on a railroad line. Nowadays, this Atlanta suburban city is home to more than 35,000 people and offers a variety of parks, shopping venues, and restaurants. Marring its charms, however, is a crime rate that exceeds the national average by 305 percent and the state average by 238 percent. In 2016, East Point reported 582 incidents of vehicle theft, making residents and visitors anxious about leaving their cars unattended as they go about their business.

5. Oakland, CA (1,623 vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents)

This port city in the San Francisco Bay Area has long held a reputation for gang violence. Along with high rates of violent crime, the city suffers from property crime rates that are 121 percent higher than the average for California, and it’s one of the least safe places in the U.S. for your vehicle. Considering the vibrant art scene in Oakland and the variety of excellent restaurants, it’s a shame that residents and visitors don’t feel completely at ease parking their car and enjoying their time in the city.

6. SeaTac, WA (1,588 vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents)

Blending Seattle and Tacoma in its name, SeaTac is home to a major airport and offers residents a variety of amenities, including parks and sports facilities. But is SeaTac safe for your car? The average rate of vehicle theft in Washington as a lowly 443 per 100,000 people; in SeaTac, it’s 1,588 per 100,000 people. Whether you’re renting a car at the airport or using your own to get around, you need to remain mindful of the risks to your vehicle in SeaTac. SeaTac residents also need to deal with rates of violent crime and property crime that are higher than state and national averages.

7. South Salt Lake, UT (1,487 vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents)

After returning from a drive to the Bonneville Salt Flats or the Wasatch Mountains, you may find yourself needing to park your car in South Salt Lake, a small city in Utah’s Salt Lake County. But can you count on finding your car where you left it? Unfortunately, South Salt Lake has a high rate of vehicle theft when compared to Utah and the country. Residents and visitors are also vulnerable to other types of crime. The overall crime rate in South Salt Lake is 171 percent higher than the average for Utah.

8. College Park, GA (1,453 vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents)

In some ways, College Park is a charming place. To see for yourself, walk past the stately homes, schools, churches, and other buildings that make up its historic district. But please remain cautious when parking your car. Vehicle theft takes place at a rate of roughly 1,453 per 100,000 people, which is starkly higher than the Georgia average of 260 per 100,000 people. College Park is also blighted by higher unemployment, higher overall crime rates, lower average incomes, and poorer educational attainments compared to the rest of the state.

9. Fife, WA (1,421 vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents)

According to data from 2016, this Tacoma suburb is home to fewer than 10,000 people. But even a small community can have a high rate of vehicle theft, significantly exceeding the state average. In one year alone, Fife reported 144 vehicles stolen. Served by major roadways and close to the Port of Tacoma, Fife is home to various industrial sites and commercial enterprises that keep people busy throughout the day. Whether they’ll still have their car at the end of the day remains to be seen.

10. San Pablo, CA (1,386 vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents)

With mild weather and plenty of sunshine in San Pablo, but residents don’t always face sunny prospects. When compared to the state, San Pablo has lower average home values and income levels. Residents also find it difficult not to worry about their cars. Located only a short drive from Downtown San Francisco, San Pablo has one of the worst rates of vehicle theft in the country. Whether you’re a student at Contra Costa College or work at the local casino, keep in mind that your vehicle is at an elevated risk of theft.

All crime data was compiled from the FBI’s 2016 Uniform Crime Reporting Program, which at the time of writing the article, was the most recent release. Only cities with a population of 10,000 or more were included in the list.

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