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Cities with the most theft arrests

  • Cities with the most theft arrests

    The Pew Research Center in 2019 found that Americans reported a perceived increase in crime in past decades, despite violent crime and property crime declining overall during that same time period. Reports from the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics show violent crime decreased by 49–74% (depending on the report) and property crime dropped just as dramatically from 1993 to 2017.

    Despite this trend, some cities in the U.S. have seen sustained or increased crime rates. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, some regions experience vastly different arrest rates for different crimes. For example, most cities see much higher rates of larceny-theft compared to burglaries and robberies.

    The FBI defines larceny-theft as when someone illegally takes or rides away with someone else’s possessions. Burglary encompasses any unlawful entering intending to commit theft or another felony. Theft, along with burglary, is considered a property crime. Some of the most common types of larceny-theft in the U.S. include shoplifting, purse snatching, bicycle theft, and theft from cars. Robberies, however, are violent crimes, as they involve force or the threat of force when trying to take another person’s possessions.

    To find the American cities with the biggest theft problem, Stacker analyzed the most recent FBI UCR data from 2018 (released Sept. 30, 2019) to compile a list of the 25 U.S. cities with the most theft arrests. Cities with populations of 25,000 or greater are ranked by the number of larceny-theft arrests made per 1,000 people, and ties were broken by the most burglary arrests per 1,000 people. Slides include larceny, burglary, robbery, motor vehicle theft, and total arrest rates per 1,000 people in each city.

    From cities that frequently appear on “most dangerous” lists to popular tourist destinations, check out the 25 cities with the most theft arrests in America.

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  • #25. St. Louis, MO

    - Population in 2018: 306,875
    - Larceny-theft arrests committed: 12,413 (40.4 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Burglary arrests committed: 2,979 (9.7 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Robbery arrests committed: 1,452 (4.7 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Motor vehicle theft arrests committed: 2,750 (9 arrests per 1,000 people)

    Although St. Louis has high rates of theft arrests, the city’s residents may be more concerned about their city’s increasing violent crime. From January to August 2019, larceny was down by 7% compared to the same time last year, while homicides and aggravated assault are up 16.2% and 6.2% respectively.

  • #24. Kingsport, TN

    - Population in 2018: 53,465
    - Larceny-theft arrests committed: 2,164 (40.5 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Burglary arrests committed: 348 (6.5 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Robbery arrests committed: 43 (0.8 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Motor vehicle theft arrests committed: 289 (5.4 arrests per 1,000 people)

    According to Kingsport police, vehicle thefts and car burglaries are on the rise in 2019. Like many other police departments around the country, police encourage residents to lock their car doors and use common sense in protecting their belongings.

  • #23. Charleston, WV

    - Population in 2018: 47,470
    - Larceny-theft arrests committed: 1,947 (41 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Burglary arrests committed: 660 (13.9 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Robbery arrests committed: 48 (1 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Motor vehicle theft arrests committed: 246 (5.2 arrests per 1,000 people)

    In 2019, police in Kanawha County broke up a property theft ring made up of over a dozen thieves. At least five Charleston residents were arrested in connection with the crime.

  • #22. Houma, LA

    - Population in 2018: 33,226
    - Larceny-theft arrests committed: 1,366 (41.1 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Burglary arrests committed: 173 (5.2 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Robbery arrests committed: 30 (0.9 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Motor vehicle theft arrests committed: 86 (2.6 arrests per 1,000 people)

    Local police in Houma, La., in 2019 began installing surveillance cameras on street corners to combat local crime. The action was part of a larger effort by the local police department called Operation Peace, or Police Eyes Against Criminal Engagement, a new policing approach being rolled out in the southern town.

  • #21. Mishawaka, IN

    - Population in 2018: 49,310
    - Larceny-theft arrests committed: 2,032 (41.2 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Burglary arrests committed: 248 (5.0 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Robbery arrests committed: 48 (1.0 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Motor vehicle theft arrests committed: 245 (5.0 arrests per 1,000 people)

    There’s a 1-in-34 chance of falling victim to a property crime in Mishawaka, Ind., slightly higher odds than the state’s 1-in-41 probability, according to NeighborhoodScout. The overall crime rate in Mishawaka is over 90% of all cities and towns in Indiana, but that rate has been on a slightly downward trend for seven of the last eight years.

  • #20. Santa Monica, CA

    - Population in 2018: 92,674
    - Larceny-theft arrests committed: 3,835 (41.4 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Burglary arrests committed: 662 (7.1 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Robbery arrests committed: 278 (3 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Motor vehicle theft arrests committed: 235 (2.5 arrests per 1,000 people)

    Santa Monica’s serious crimes—including but not limited to theft—rose by 8.8% in 2018 over the year prior, and 29% between 2015 and 2018. Those cases were largely for property crime and theft, with 373 more thefts in 2018 than 2017. The police chief in January 2019 urged residents to stay out of harm’s way by not leaving valuables in cars and announced the department hired 20 police officers to help enforce laws.

  • #19. Cleveland, TN

    - Population in 2018: 44,954
    - Larceny-theft arrests committed: 1,908 (42.4 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Burglary arrests committed: 384 (8.5 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Robbery arrests committed: 32 (0.7 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Motor vehicle theft arrests committed: 220 (4.9 arrests per 1,000 people)

    In the southeast corner of Tennessee, Cleveland is home to over 44,000 residents. When shopping in the city’s limits, the Cleveland police discourage displaying large amounts of cash, and they recommend guarding one’s purse and being aware of the surroundings.

  • #18. Warner Robins, GA

    - Population in 2018: 75,668
    - Larceny-theft arrests committed: 3,258 (43.1 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Burglary arrests committed: 726 (9.6 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Robbery arrests committed: 86 (1.1 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Motor vehicle theft arrests committed: 216 (2.9 arrests per 1,000 people)

    Warner Robins is one of only three cities from Georgia to make this list. The city has 6.8 fewer theft arrests per 1,000 people than the city in the state with the highest arrest rate.

    [Pictured here: Warner Robins Law Enforcement Center.]

  • #17. Medford, OR

    - Population in 2018: 82,800
    - Larceny-theft arrests committed: 3,633 (43.9 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Burglary arrests committed: 471 (5.7 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Robbery arrests committed: 93 (1.1 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Motor vehicle theft arrests committed: 359 (4.3 arrests per 1,000 people)

    Law enforcement in Medford take a different approach to handling first-time theft offenders. According to the Medford Municipal Court, first-time offenders can participate in the Theft Recovery Program, rather than go to jail. To take advantage of this program, offenders must report their thefts, take a polygraph test, and make restitution.

  • #16. Dover, DE

    - Population in 2018: 37,778
    - Larceny-theft arrests committed: 1,663 (44 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Burglary arrests committed: 58 (1.5 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Robbery arrests committed: 43 (1.1 arrests per 1,000 people)
    - Motor vehicle theft arrests committed: 89 (2.4 arrests per 1,000 people)

    Dover is the only city from Delaware to make this list. Despite its high larceny-theft arrests rates, Dover police chief Marvin Mailey is prioritizing fighting violent crime after the city saw a 30% increase in violent crime in 2018.

    [Pictured: Dover hosts Delaware’s First State Heritage Park where the constitution was adopted by the state.]

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