The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) new Hot Spots report shows that vehicle theft is up across the United States and that Colorado auto thefts increased by 37% in 2020 over 2019. Additionally, the Bakersfield, California, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the highest theft rate in the country for the second consecutive year. Overall, there were 880,595 vehicle thefts nationwide in 2020, about one vehicle stolen every 36 seconds, up from 794,019 in 2019.
“Auto thefts saw a dramatic increase in 2020 versus 2019 in part due to the pandemic, an economic downturn, law enforcement realignment, depleted social and schooling programs, and, in still too many cases, owner complacency,” said David Glawe, president and CEO of the NICB. “For many people, a car is the second largest investment they will ever make behind a home. As such, it is important to take simple steps to protect your investment – lock your car and take your keys, no matter where you live.”
Colorado’s thefts increased from 21,299 in 2019 to 29,162 thefts in 2020. Driving the increase in thefts in the state is the Denver Metropolitan Statistical Area. Thefts in the region increased by more than 7,000 rising from 14,093 in 2019 to 21,112 in 2020.
California leads states in total thefts with 187,094. Texas follows with 93,521, and Florida with 44,940. These three states alone account for 37% of all thefts nationally.
Of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Bakersfield leads the pack with a theft rate of 905.41. The theft rate is the total number of thefts per 100,000 residents.
Though thefts in 2020 jumped up significantly nationally, 10 states realized declines in total thefts.
The Hot Spots report examines vehicle theft data obtained from the National Crime Information Center for each of the nation’s metropolitan statistical areas. These are designated by the Office of Management and Budget and often include municipalities other than the cities for which Metropolitan Statistical Areas are named. For example, Bakersfield, Calif., includes the entire county of Kern, not just the city of Bakersfield.
Click here to view the full report.