By: Gokul Menon January, 20, 2020


After conducting an in-depth analysis of the latest data and reports (2018) published by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), Gavop lists the top 10 states with the highest and lowest number of auto thefts in the country.

California topped the list with the highest number of motor vehicle thefts in the U.S. Texas came in second, with 74,079 thefts in 2018. The lowest numbers are from the state of Vermont.

Moreover, car insurance rates in auto-theft hotspots are generally higher than usual. Albuquerque, NM MSA, topped the list in 2018 with 7,146 car thefts. The same MSA was ranked first in the previous year as well, but with a higher number of auto thefts. NICB reports that the overall rate of vehicle thefts has come down over the years. For example, in 1991, over 1,000,000 auto thefts were reported. The figure had come down to a little over 765,000 in 2016. It also reports that a high number of auto thefts occur because the key of the vehicle was left in the ignition. The emphasis here is on the incompetence of vehicle owners and how far safety could be improved if they were a tad aware.

NICB lists out four layers of protection to prevent auto theft:

  • TRACKING DEVICES: A combination of GPS and wireless technology that emits a signal when the vehicle is stolen.
  • WARNING DEVICES: Audible alarms that go off when there is a threat to one’s car being stolen. Warning devices include
    1. Wheel locks
    2. Brake locks
    3. Theft-deterrent decals
    4. Audible alarms
  • COMMON SENSE: NICB lists out steps that a motorist could take to keep their cars safe.
    1. Parking in a well-lit area
    2. Locking doors and keeping windows closed.
    3. Removing keys from the ignition.
  • IMMOBILIZING DEVICES: A layer of protection that prevents hot-wiring and bypassing of the ignition. Some keys also have the latest technology, such as electronic chips.


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Gokul Menon

Gokul works as a writer at Gavop. He holds an M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Hyderabad and a Bachelor’s in English from Madras Christian College. He has been a part of a couple of theatre groups, like Masquerade Youth Theatre and Theatre No. 59 and enjoyed being a part of Literary and Debating circles in Chennai. Gokul is an avid reader and has presented a few academic papers. He spends more time on Goodreads, than on any other social media platform.