The 10 U.S. Cities Where You're Most Likely to Get Your Car Stolen

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

If you don’t want your car to get stolen, avoid California.

For at least another year, the Golden State remains the most popular place for car thieves, with cities in California home to seven of the top 10 areas for car thefts in 2014.

The report comes from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and is part of the annual “Hot Spots” report. Of course, California has a larger population than most states in the U.S., and that naturally just means there’s more cars to steal. Last year’s top city was Bakersfield, California and this year it has been replaced by the San Francisco, Oakland and Hayward area.

SEE ALSO: Theft of Cars with Keys in Them on the Rise

It’s not all just big cities on the top 10 list either, with NICB noting that areas with smaller populations and a “moderate number of thefts” often have a higher rate of vehicles stolen. Last year, there were 633.3 thefts per 100,000 people in the San Francisco – Oakland – Hayward area, with a total of 29,093 stolen cars. It’s worth noting that the report is a population-based survey, so it goes off of theft rate based on population.

  • 10. San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara, California
  • 9. Fresno, California
  • 8. Seattle – Tacoma – Bellevue, Washington
  • 7. Vallejo – Fairfield, California
  • 6. Spokane – Spokane Valley, Washington
  • 5. Modesto, California
  • 4. Odessa, Texas
  • 3. Stockton – Lodi, California
  • 2. Bakersfield, California
  • 1. San Francisco – Oakland – Hayward, California

“Although vehicle thefts are down dramatically around the nation, the reasons they are stolen remain the same,” the organization said. “Older vehicles are stolen primarily for their parts value while newer, high-end vehicles often are shipped overseas or, after some disguising, sold to an innocent buyer locally.”

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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  • Smartacus Smartacus on Jun 26, 2015

    Thank God i don't live in California anymore. Oh yes, the entire area from North of San Francisco to South of Santa-Cruz is a bigger armpit than NJ. -and i know someone in the metro-Seattle area who says they can't possibly make enough happy pills to heal those people. No surprise, they get into car theft.