‘Hot Spots’ Report Shows Vehicle Theft Rates Spiking in Different Regions of the U.S.

Hot Spots 2023

Thefts by State 2020 - 2022 |  Thefts by MSA 2020 - 2022

DES PLAINES, Ill., October 25, 2023 — A recent report shows vehicle thefts spiking in some regions of the United States and stabilizing in others. The annual Hot Spots report released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the insurance industry’s not-for-profit association dedicated to preventing and combating insurance crime, shows metro areas and states with the highest rates of vehicle theft in 2022.

Colorado topped the list of states with the highest vehicle theft rates, which increased in volume from 38,430 thefts in 2021 to 42,706 in 2022. Three of Colorado’s major metro areas were also among the top 10 regions with the highest vehicle theft rates in the U.S. per 100,000 residents. The Pueblo, Colorado Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was number one in the nation with a vehicle theft rate of 1,086.44, the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood MSA was number three with a rate of 1,062.67 and the Greeley, Colorado MSA was number nine with a rate of 589.42.

Hot Spots 2022_Thefts by State

California led the U.S. in total vehicle thefts with 203,018, and Texas experienced approximately half that amount with 105,133. Significantly lower were Washington State (46,990), Florida (46,020), and Colorado (42,706), which rank third, fourth and fifth for total vehicle thefts, respectively. These five states reflected 44 percent of all thefts nationally.

Overall, there were 1,001,967 vehicle thefts nationwide in 2022, which equals about two stolen vehicles every minute, up from 937,976 in 2021. Though thefts in 2022 rose nationally, several states experienced significant declines in total thefts. Among them were states like Oklahoma, Kansas, South Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana, Montana, Utah, Alabama, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa and West Virginia, which saw a decrease in vehicle thefts from 2021 to 2022.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau compiled the data for its Hot Spots report from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) for each of the nation’s metropolitan statistical areas. These areas are established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and are defined as an urban area with a population of at least 50,000 people, and part of a region linked by various social and economic factors. The NICB report analyzes the number of thefts per 100,000 residents, which allows it to compare smaller regions like Sioux Falls, South Dakota with larger regions like Seattle, Washington.

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Top 10 States |  Top 10 MSAs

Top 10 States by Theft Rate

*Theft rate is total thefts per 100,000 residents.
Rank State 2022 Theft Rate 2021 Theft Rate
1. Colorado 731.28 661.21
2. District of Columbia 700.06 651.00
3. Washington 603.54 511.05
4. Oregon 540.88 475.50
5. New Mexico 540.57 471.16
6. California 520.17 461.91
7. Missouri 482.60 428.13
8. Nevada 480.81 426.75
9. Texas 350.10 359.33
10. Tennessee 337.95 320.04


Top 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas by Theft Rate

*Theft rate is total thefts per 100,000 residents.
Rank CBSA/MSA 2022 Theft Rate 2021 Theft Rate
1. Pueblo, CO 1,086.44 1023.68
2. Bakersfield, CA 1,072.36 964.92
3. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 1,062.67 891.39
4. Memphis, TN-MS-AR 845.68 710.58
5. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 796.94 680.20
6. Albuquerque, NM 795.18 675.86
7. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 758.68 611.11
8. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA 699.30 597.83
9. Greeley, CO 589.42 582.47
10. Kansas City, MO-KS 572.67 578.68

Media Contact

If you have a question, want further information on the NICB, or to discuss insurance fraud or vehicle crime, please contact:

Joe Brenckle
Director, Public Affairs

Nicholas Zeitlinger
Public Affairs Specialist

If you are a reporter and have a request or question, please complete the Media Request Form.

Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800.TEL.NICB (800.835.6422) or submitting a form on our website.

About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., the NICB is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to combatting and preventing insurance crime through Intelligence, Analytics, and Operations; Education and Crime Prevention; and Strategy, Policy, and Advocacy. The NICB is supported by more than 1,200 property-casualty insurers, self-insureds, rental car, vehicle finance, and auto auctions. To learn more, visit www.nicb.org.