Picture this. You’ve just wrapped up a long workday and are dragging yourself to the parking lot or parking garage where you thought your car had been sitting all day. To your surprise, it’s just gone. Before it disappeared, were you behind the wheel of one of the cars most targeted by thieves? 

Examine the latest stolen vehicle data and you’ll discover that car thieves have a “type.” According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s most recent report, the number of vehicles stolen across the country continues to grow at an alarming rate. The latest data looks at vehicles reported stolen in 2022 and that number jumped another 7% from the previous year. 

Male thief tries to steal a car. Car theft concept

When they assembled the data for their report, they ranked every state and 390 metropolitans by the number of car theft rates and it was uncomfortable for California.  The Golden State saw its vehicle theft rate jump by 58.26 points, placing it at #6 on a list of states where you’re most likely to have your car stolen. Taking population size out of the equation, California had more individual vehicles stolen (203,018) than any other state in the country. 

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The NICB also broke things down into the metropolitan areas with the most car thefts. Two California cities appeared in the Top 10. San Francisco ranked #8 with a theft rate of 699.30. Bakersfield ranked #2 with a theft rate of 1,072.36. It was second only to Pueblo, Colorado. 


The report breaks down the top 10 most commonly stolen vehicles in every state, so when you look at the 203,018 that went missing in California, which makes and models did thieves target the most? Here’s how the numbers broke down.

The 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in California

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau's most recent "Hot Wheels" auto theft report, these were the 10 vehicles that thieves helped themselves to the most in California. The most recent data available reflects cars stolen in 2022. We expected the numbers from 2023 to be released sometime this fall.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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Our sources include Neighborhood Scout, which uses FBI crime data or their safety rankings, the American Census Bureau, BestPlaces.net, which allows current and former residents to grade their state/city/town and Realtor.com. Crime Index means the city is safer than (X)% of cities in America. Home prices reflect the current availability in February 2024.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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