Newly released data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reflected a 6.6% increase in car theft across the United States as almost 800,000 vehicles were taken from their owners in 2016.
However, this figure remains relatively low compared to the peak in illegal car activity in 1991, when 1.7 million vehicles were grabbed across the country, according to a report by business media outlet Forbes.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, topped the list of hotspots, with the most thefts per capita reported in 2016. Pueblo, Colorado takes second spot, while Bakersfield, California, is in third place.
Forbes credits the significant reduction in thefts from almost 20 years ago to the broad adoption of technology, such as smart keys and keyless fobs which also integrate anti-theft security features.
However, the human element remains a significant factor in stolen cars, as almost 60,000 of the owners who reported their cars stolen in 2015 said they left their key in the car.
Forbes also listed the hottest cities for car theft in 2016. Here are the top 10:
|City||State||Number of Stolen Cars|
|Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim||California||60,670|
|Riverside/ San Bernardino/Ontario||California||25,708|
|Houston/The Woodlands/Sugar Land||Texas||25,069|
|New York/Newark/Jersey City||New York/New Jersey||21,145|
|Miami/Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach||Florida||20,207|