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Auto Theft Continues Decline in Albuquerque

ABQ Moves Out of Top Ranking – First time since 2016

July 29, 2020

The Albuquerque Police Department continues to drive down auto thefts, as a new national ranking shows the metro area moved out of the top spot for vehicle theft rates for the first time in years. APD has worked with the state Office of Superintendent of Insurance and the New Mexico State Police to target auto theft.

“This dubious distinction has been a sore spot for Albuquerque, so we’re actually glad that we finally climbed out of the number one ranking for the first time in years,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “While it shows just how deep the hole is that we’re working to get out of, this progress is a result of the hard work of officers to cut auto theft by over a third. We clearly still have challenges but hopefully residents will continue to see the positive changes.”

Since 2016, the metro area, which includes a four-county region, was ranked worst for auto theft, according to the Hot Spot report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

The new report, based on 2019 data and released this month, shows the Albuquerque metro area with 697 thefts per 100,000 people. That represents an 11% decrease from 2018, and a 36% decrease over the past two years, according to the NICB report based on data from the National Crime Information Center.


Albuquerque Metro ranked behind Bakersfield, CA, which had a theft rate of 726 thefts for every 100,000 residents. St. Joseph, MO, ranked third; Modesto, CA, ranked fourth; and Odessa, TX, ranked fifth.

“We are driving down auto theft through aggressive enforcement,” APD Chief Mike Geier said. “We are also seeing a lot of success with our new helicopter, which has assisted field units so they avoid dangerous pursuits and track stolen vehicles more effectively and safely.”

A spokesperson for the New Mexico Auto Theft Prevention Authority (NMATPA) would like to thank our multi-jurisdictional partners for their hard work. The NMATPA’s mission is to support proactive auto theft prevention efforts throughout the State. We have made significant strides in lowering auto theft but there is still much work to be done and together we can put the brakes on auto theft.