Car Theft Turns a Corner in LA

After a high mark in 2017, number of incidents begins to drop

Car thefts had been on a steady climb in Los Angeles in recent years, but in 2018 they appear to have stalled, at least so far. During the first six months of the year, the number of car thefts declined by 7% compared with the same period in 2017. 


                 Jan.-June 2017–>9,440

                 Jan.-June 2018–>8,765


The 2018 decrease comes after a five-year peak for vehicle thefts in 2017.



In 2018, the month with the highest number of vehicle thefts was May, which saw 1,543.

Where are these cars being stolen? The LA neighborhood with the highest number of thefts was Boyle Heights, with 332.  But there are pockets of high theft areas all over the city. Sun Valley and Van Nuys also made the top 10 list.


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  Neighborhood Total Auto Thefts*
  Boyle-Heights 332
  Van Nuys 272
  Florence 259
  Sun Valley 226
  Downtown 208
  Panorama City 207
  Westlake 194
  Koreatown 192
  North Hollywood 184
  San Pedro 181

*An earlier version of this story mistakenly labeled this column auto accidents, not auto thefts.

We examine Los Angeles Police Department reports to compile our data. You can learn more about how we get our crime numbers here.