Where are you at highest risk of vehicle theft? Vehicle thieves and the crimes they commit, it turns out, are more concentrated in some states than others. Using the most recently available crime data from the FBI and the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Expert Market, a B2B comparison site for fleet management companies, has mapped the states where you'll find the most vehicles stolen by total population, and it might not be where you'd expect.
There are now some 276 million motor vehicles on U.S. roads, Expert Market noted—but your chances of having a vehicle stolen don't follow a simple pattern of vehicle density/ availability.
The current third least-populous state, Alaska, leads the nation in vehicle thefts per capita with 576 thefts per 100,000 people, the worst rate in the country. New Mexico also fell into "the very worst bracket for robbery rates," Expert Market found, with around 564 thefts per 100,000 people.
In both those states, the most stolen vehicles are Chevrolet pickup trucks—those were most commonly stolen in 16 states. Hondas were the most stolen brand in 19 states, the highest of any, according to Expert Market.
Northeast safest, West Coast heightened risk
Vermont, Maine, New York, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania had the lowest car theft rates in the study. Expert Market noted that although New York has around 5 million registered vehicles—one of the highest of all—crime in the state has been dropping since the 1990s and it now has one of the lowest rates per capita of vehicle theft.
Another standout point in the map is that West Coast states from Washington down to California all came in with higher rates of theft, though not the highest. Nevada fell into that category as well.
The map is intended to show where vehicle owners might be able to benefit most from additional protection, Expert Market said, pointing to available advanced anti-theft and vehicle tracking technologies.