MARYLAND – Thieves steal over 12,000 vehicles in Maryland each year. A new study says COVID caused crime rates to drop all across the country. However, it looks as if no one told car thieves. Car theft rates are actually way up.

According to numbers from the University of Pennsylvania, property crime, violent crime, and drug crime all dropped by double digits. Vehicle thefts actually increased. The people behind the study speculate that due to the COVID lockdown vehicle owners aren’t checking on their cars as often as they did in the pre-lockdown days.

The rate of car thefts differs drastically from state to state. Maryland sees an average of 12,310 motor vehicles per year. Out of 100,000 people, 204 will experience a vehicle theft. 

Here’s what the numbers for Maryland look like:

  • Motor vehicle theft rate: 204 per 100k people
  • Average annual motor vehicle thefts: 12,310
  • Overall property theft rate: 2,071 per 100k people
  • Violent crime rate: 475 Per 100k people

The good news is that the overall rate of car and property thefts in our state is slightly less than the nationwide average.

National averages for theft and violent crime are:

  • Motor vehicle theft rate: 228 per 100k people
  • Average annual motor vehicle thefts: 747,955
  • Overall property theft rate: 2,215 per 100k people
  • Violent crime rate: 383 per 100k people

The exception to those lower average is Baltimore. The study says the city is among the top 15 cities for car thefts in the country, ranking number 14. Baltimore’s vehicle theft rate of 753 per 100,000 people is triple both the state and national average.

In fact, Baltimore’s violent crime rate is 5 times the national average:

  • Motor vehicle theft rate: 753 per 100k people
  • Average annual motor vehicle thefts: 4,495
  • Overall property theft rate: 4,643 per 100k people
  • Violent crime rate: 1,933 per 100k people

The top 25 cities for vehicle thefts are:

  1. Oakland, CA
  2. Albuquerque
  3. Detroit, MI
  4. Portland, OR
  5. San Bernardino
  6. St. Louis, MO
  7. Anchorage, AK
  8. Tacoma, WA
  9. Kansas City, MO
  10. Tulsa, OK
  11. Cleveland, OH
  12. Milwaukee, WI
  13. Salt Lake City, UT
  14. Baltimore, MD
  15. Chattanooga, TN