The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s Hot Spots report has found the Albuquerque, New Mexico metropolitan area had the highest per capita auto theft rate in the United States last year.
The city and surrounding area had 10,011 vehicle thefts last year which is a dramatic increase from the 6,657 vehicles which were stolen in 2015. The rise in crime pushed the city from the number two spot into first place.
Albuquerque was followed by Pueblo, Colorado and Bakersfield, California. Pueblo only had 1,325 thefts but since the study is based on the per capita auto theft rate, it has the dubious honor of being second on the list.
The Modesto, California region was rated number one in 2015 but things have improved as the city and surrounding area only saw 3,820 automotive thefts last year. The decrease was large enough to put the area in the number four spot on the list.
The top ten list also saw several newcomers including some places you might not expect such as Anchorage, Alaska and Billings, Montana.
The NICB expects vehicle thefts to increase but the organization notes the number of vehicles stolen has significantly declined since its peak in 1991 when 1,661,738 vehicles were reported stolen.
The report also notes drivers need to use common sense to prevent auto theft as 57,096 vehicles were stolen in 2015 with the keys in them. As the organization said, all the advances in anti-theft technology are “worthless if drivers continue to leave their keys in the car or leave their vehicles running, unattended, while they make a quick stop at a convenience store.”