Study finds Long Beach auto theft rate is twice the national average

An average of 2,455 vehicles were stolen in Long Beach each year over the past three years, for a rate that was nearly twice the national average, a new study found.

The study by CoPilot, which focuses on auto industry data, looked at auto theft rates in the country’s 150 biggest cities from 2017 through 2019. Overall, the study found that nearly 750,000 vehicles are stolen in the United States each year, for an average of 228 per 100,000 residents and a loss of $6 billion annually

Long Beach’s rate of 525 stolen vehicles per 100,000 residents was high, but not as bad as some cities. Long Beach ranked No. 37, coming in ahead of Los Angeles, which ranked 57 and had a rate of 433 thefts per 100,000 residents.

The top 10 cities with the highest annual auto theft rates were:

Source: CoPilot

Auto theft in Long Beach is up this year, according to police department data. As of July, grand theft auto was up 7% compared to the city’s 5-year average.

The trend reflects an overall 3% increase in property crime this year, which Long Beach Police officials have attributed in part to recent shift in no-money bail for some offenses.

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Kelly Puente is a general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. Her prolific reporting has taken her all over Southern California—even to the small Catalina Island town of Two Harbors. She is a Tiki mug collector and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].