SLO ranked as metro area with fewest car thefts in California


The San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles region is ranked on top for the lowest vehicle theft rate in 2020 among all metro areas in California, according to FBI data compiled by 24/7 Wall Street. 

In 2020, the San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles area had 128.1 vehicle thefts per 100,000 people. The California average was 427.6 vehicle thefts per 100,000 people.

Likewise, the San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles metro area’s property crime rate is significantly above average. The 1,636 property crimes reported per 100,000 SLO County residents dwarfs the California average of 2,138.9 property crimes per 100,000 people. 

Nationwide, vehicle theft is on the rise. Thieves snatched a total of 810,400 vehicles in the United States in 2020, the largest amount in more than a decade, according to the FBI. As counted by the FBI, motor vehicle theft can either be the theft or attempted theft of a vehicle.

With soaring unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic, some Americans turned to crime amid financial struggles. Some experts attribute the increase in vehicle thefts to cars sitting unattended and unused for longer than usual because of the pandemic.