The U.S. City Where Your Car Is Most Likely to Be Stolen

Car theft is more common than you think, but knowing where your car is more likely to be stolen can help you prevent it.

Anyone who has ever returned to where you thought you parked your car—only to discover it’s disappeared—can attest to what a headache it can be to track down a missing car.

If you’re lucky, your car might just have gotten towed. But car theft is more common than you might think, according to a recent report from A Secure Life. The security company analyzed the likelihood of car theft in the top 20 metropolitan areas around the United States.

So in what city is your car most likely to be nabbed? Albuquerque, New Mexico tops the list, with 1,368.8 cars stolen per 100,000 people. The city is home to 561,375 people.

You’re at a much higher risk of car theft if you live in the western part of the United States, according to the report. Thirteen of the top 20 cities with the highest rates of car theft are in the West. These are the most stolen cars in America.

That’s likely because people who live in the Western states are more dependent on cars. In other parts of the country, residents may have more access to public transportation like trains and buses.

Here are the other cities that made the top ten for car theft:

  1. Oakland, California (1,293/100,000)
  2. Detroit, Michigan (1,215/100,000)
  3. Springfield, Missouri (1,167/100,000)
  4. Portland, Oregon (1,123/100,000)
  5. Gresham, Oregon (1,116/100,000)
  6. Hayward, California (1,116/100,000)
  7. Richmond, California (1,110/100,000)
  8. Pueblo, Colorado (1,107/100,000)
  9. Independence, Missouri (1,078/100,000)

To better protect yourself from car theft, A Secure Life recommends you park in well-lit spaces, keep valuables out of your car, get an anti-theft device, and don’t hide a spare key in the car. Here are 9 more tricks you can use to outsmart criminals.

The good news? The South is the safest region in the country for avoiding car theft. In particular, five of the top 20 cities with the fewest car thefts are in Texas. These are the metro areas with the least number of car thefts:

  1. Lakewood Township, New Jersey (25/100,000)
  2. Naperville, Illinois (32/100,000)
  3. McAllen, Texas (32/100,000)
  4. Amherst Town, New York (34/100,000)
  5. Cary, North Carolina (43/100,000)
  6. Port St. Lucie, Florida (46/100,000)
  7. Frisco, Texas (49/100,000)
  8. Allen, Texas (51/100,000)
  9. Round Rock, Texas (51/100,000)
  10. Gilbert, Arizona (56/100,000)

Next, check out these 18 secrets car thieves don’t want you to know.

Jen McCaffery
Jen McCaffery is an associate editor for Reader’s Digest. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Prevention, Rhode Island Monthly, and other publications and websites. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s growing veggies or trying to figure out the way home from assorted trails.