chalermphon_tiam /

Car thefts reached record or near-record levels in many places across the U.S. in 2022, according to a new report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a not-for-profit association supported by the insurance industry.

Auto thefts soared over the 1 million mark for the first time since 2008. Nationwide, monthly thefts “consistently exceeded 75,000” and were up 7% from 2021, according to the NICB.

And the problem might be getting worse. In the fourth quarter of last year alone, there were more than 250,000 car thefts nationwide. Following are the states that had the most car thefts in 2022.

1. California

electric car charging in San Francisco
Dan Schreiber /

Total number of vehicles stolen in this state in:

  • 2022: 202,685 (an increase of 1% over 2021)
  • 2021: 201,034

More cars were stolen in California — and by a wide margin — than in any other state.

In a summary of the NICB report, David J. Glawe, president and CEO of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, says:

“We are seeing vehicle theft numbers that we haven’t seen in nearly 15 years, and there is very little deterrent to stop criminals from committing these acts as they are just property crimes, like shoplifting.”

2. Texas

Texas ranger outside a car
Michal Plachy /

Total number of vehicles stolen in this state in:

  • 2022: 105,015 (an increase of 10% over 2021)
  • 2021: 95,082

Texas is the only state other than California to record at least 100,000 auto thefts in 2022.

Glawe says several steps are necessary to reverse the surge in auto thefts nationwide, including:

  • Reinvesting in local law enforcement
  • Providing more resources for prosecution and community policing programs
  • Implementing early intervention programs due to the fact that a high percentage of vehicle thefts involve juvenile offenders

3. Washington

Washington state license plate
Dmitriev Mikhail /

Total number of vehicles stolen in this state in:

  • 2022: 46,939 (an increase of 31% over 2021)
  • 2021: 35,921

Car thefts exploded in Washington last year, jumping 31% from 2021.

In some states, certain models have become prime targets for thieves. For more, check out “Auto Insurers Are Refusing to Cover Some Cars Because They’re Stolen So Frequently.”

The rest of the top 10

Chicago, Illinois
Kristopher Kettner /

Here are the other states where auto thefts are soaring:

  • Florida: 45,973 thefts in 2022 (6% increase)
  • Colorado: 42,237 (10%)
  • Illinois: 38,649 (35%)
  • Ohio: 29,913 (6%)
  • Missouri: 29,345 (10%)
  • New York: 28,292 (23%)
  • Georgia: 26,529 (1%)

Chris Kissell

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