The Greater Boston region had the most car thefts of any New England metro area in 2015, but only because it’s the biggest. The rate of car thefts per 100,000 people was actually lower in metro Boston than in many other cities in the region.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, there were 5,360 cars stolen in the Boston area last year, giving the metro a rate of 112.27 car thefts per 100,000 people.
NICB includes Boston, Cambridge, Newton and parts of New Hampshire in its definition of the Boston metro.
The New Haven, Connecticut metropolitan area had the highest rate of car theft with a rate of 248.29 thefts per 100,000 people.
Two other Connecticut areas also had higher car theft rates than Boston. NICB found the Hartford metro had a rate of 183.02 thefts per 100,000 people while the Bridgeport area had a theft rate of 140.81 per 100,000.
Springfield was the only other Massachusetts metro with a higher car theft rate than Boston. The western Massachusetts community saw a car theft rate of 154.59 per 100,000 in 2015. There were 977 thefts reported in the metro last year.
The Providence metro, which includes parts of southern Massachusetts and Warwick, Rhode Island, had a car theft rate of 124.98 per 100,000. The area saw 2,016 car thefts in 2015.
Meanwhile, Pittsfield saw the lowest rate of car crime last year with a rate of 44.59 per 100,000. Only 57 thefts were reported last year.
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The 10 most-stolen cars in Massachusetts, according to LoJack:
Car crime was much worse in the western part of the country. Several metropolitan areas in California saw the highest rate of car theft in the nation according to NICB’s research.
NICB named Modesto, California the top “Hot Spot’’ for car crime last year with a car theft rate of 756.33 per 100,000 people.
To prevent car theft, NICB offers recommends “common sense’’ approaches like locking doors and closing windows, not leaving keys in a vehicle’s ignition and parking in well-lit areas.
NICB also recommends more advanced measures that give thieves an audible or visual warning. This can include audible car alarms, brake, wheel or steering column locks, and identification markers in or on the vehicle.
More advanced safety options include kill switches, smart keys or other techniques that stop thieves from starting a vehicle’s engine, as well as tracking devices that can help monitor a vehicle’s location with GPS and wireless technology.