INDIANA (WANE) – Motor vehicle thefts saw a record increase in 2022, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. As people prepare for vacations and summer travel, it’s important to know which areas of Indiana you’re more likely to see vehicles stolen in.

To get a better sense of how common vehicle thefts are in areas of Indiana, we dug into the federal statistics.

FBI data from 2021 shows how many recorded motor vehicle theft reports took place in a given county. The FBI’s crime data explorer allows users to search crime statistics based on the location, agency type, state, year, and type of crime.

The data comes from local law enforcement agencies submitting 12 months of complete property/circumstance data. From there, the FBI computes value-lost totals for the crimes of robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft, based on that supplemental data from law enforcement.

For this story, we looked at recorded motor vehicle thefts in Indiana’s 21 metropolitan counties. According to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, counties are counted as metropolitan if they “contain an urbanized area of 50,000 or more population, or are adjacent to such a county and linked to it based on a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.”

Below is a list of every Indiana metropolitan county ranked from those with the highest number of motor vehicle thefts to the lowest number in 2021, the most recent year of compiled data:

  1. St. Joseph – 150
  2. Vigo – 137
  3. Clark – 67
  4. Floyd – 57
  5. Tippecanoe – 55
  6. Allen – 51
  7. Hendricks – 49
  8. Harrison – 48
  9. Monroe – 46
  10.  Hancock – 45 (tie)
  11.  Washington – 45 (tie)
  12.  Vanderburgh – 43
  13.  La Porte – 40
  14.  Delaware – 39
  15.  Bartholomew – 31
  16.  Posey – 23
  17.  Porter – 19
  18.  Elkhart – 14 (tie)
  19.  Hamilton – 14 (tie)
  20.  Howard – 13 (tie)
  21.  Madison – 13 (tie)

According to the data, the Indiana metropolitan county with the most motor vehicle thefts is St. Joseph County, with 150 reports of thefts in 2021. Census data from 2021 shows St. Joseph County had a population of 272,212 people, meaning nearly one motor vehicle theft for every 1,000 people.

The data set also shows reports of motor vehicle thefts started to fall in St. Joseph County over the last year. The county saw fewer motor vehicle thefts reported in 2021 than in 2020 when a total of 161 thefts were reported. In 2019, the county saw even fewer reported thefts with a total of 115 incidents, and in 2018, it saw a total of just 66 motor vehicle thefts.

St. Joseph County is home to South Bend, Indiana, which is next to the University of Notre Dame.