When it comes to crime, property crimes are some of the most harrowing to go through. The notion that we can be a victim, even in our own home, where we feel most safe, is not a thought that many take well. 

But how likely is it to happen to us, and what types of crime tend to happen on our properties?

To answer that question, we’re going to take a closer look at the property crime statistics to find out how much burglary, vandalism, and larceny is really happening. With the help of the latest data on property crimes, we’ll get clear answers as to just how safe, or how at risk, our possessions really are.

Keep reading to learn more about property crime statistics by city, by type of crime, by year, and more.

Property Crime Statistics Worth Noting (Editor’s Pick)

  • The estimated total property crimes for the FY 2019-2010 is 48,118.
  • 3,102 cases of property crime were reported as of August 2020.
  • Only a third of all property crimes in the US are reported.
  • 1.1 million people were arrested for property offenses in the US in 2018.
  • The District of Columbia has the highest number of property crimes per 100,000 people (4,373).
  • 7 million out of 9 million total property crimes are larceny theft. 
  • Property crimes decreased by 5.6% in the first half of 2019.

General Property Crime Statistics

1. There are 48,118 total property crimes projected for the FY 2019-2020, up by 0.27% from 47,990 forecasted in the FY 2018-2019.

These property crime statistics in USA are based on San Francisco’s monthly report to the federal Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI sets guidelines for offenses that qualify as Part I crimes and need to be reported to the police regularly in all parts of the country. Property Part I crime comprises arson, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.

2. As of August 2020, there were 3,102 total property crimes reported under the UCR program, recent statistics on property crime disclosed.

In terms of percentage, this figure accounts for only 6.45% of the projected number of cases. Given that the current fiscal year is about to end, this data indicates a significantly lesser incidence of property crimes reported, which is below 10% of the predicted amount. This sharp fall can be attributed to the heightened security enforcement throughout the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   

3. Back in 1990, there were 5 million more property crimes annually according to property crime statistics by year.

7 million property crimes is by no means a small number, but the trend shows that this figure is decreasing every year. In 2015, there were over 8 million property crimes. In 2012, there were over 9 million property crimes.

Three decades ago, there were 12,655,486 property crimes. This indicates a clear decrease over time. While that may not be of much comfort to those who have become part of the victims of property crime statistics it does offer some hope for the trend to continue into the future.

4. Only a third of all property crimes in the US are reported.

According to the latest available larceny and home burglary stats, only 35% of all property crimes tracked by the Bureau of Justice Statistics were reported to the police in the first place.

However, the stats also suggest that property crimes are notoriously difficult to solve. Only 19% of all the property crimes reported to the police in the US were cleared.

5. The District of Columbia sees more property crime per 100,000 people than any other state.

Looking at the property crime rates by state, the District of Columbia sees the highest rates of incidents, with 4,373 property crimes per every 100,000 inhabitants.

New Mexico, Alaska, Louisiana, and South Carolina make up the rest of the top five, with 3,419, 3,300, 3,276, and 3,017 respectively. Meanwhile, New Hampshire has the lowest rate of property crime per 100,000 people, with 1,248. Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine are just above it at 1,263, 1,283, and 1,357 respectively.

6. Property crime is the most common type of crime committed in the US.

According to the FBI, property crime is far and away the most common type of crime committed and reported in the US. Burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson are included in the property crime index. The second and third most common types of crimes committed in the country are drug-related offenses and alcohol-related crimes, respectively.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, violent crimes are less likely than many people think, as they are fourth on the list. When we look at the overall stats, it becomes clear how rare violent crime is by comparison. In fact, property crime was reported an average of every 3 seconds, while violent crime was reported once every 22 seconds.

But what is the most common property crime?

Let’s find out.

Property Crimes Statistics By Type

7. Larceny-theft is the most common property crime committed in the US.

According to the same FBI property crime statistics, larceny-theft was the most common crime committed. The study was completed in 2012, at which point larceny accounted for 68.5% of reported cases.

Burglary was the next most common property crime, accounting for 23.4% of crimes committed in 2012, while motor vehicle theft accounted for 8%. However, we do have more up-to-date larceny theft statistics so that allows us to observe the general trend.

8. There were over 5 million larceny-theft cases in the US in 2019.

While there’s been a significant decrease from the FBI’s 2012 numbers, larceny-theft is still the most commonly committed crime, with 5,086,096 cases reported in 2019.

According to the legal definition, larceny-theft is the unlawful taking or property belonging to another, including shoplifting, pickpocket, bicycle theft, and the like.

9. Home burglary statistics show that there were around 1.1 million burglary cases in the US in 2019.

Burglary remains the second most common crime in the US. The latest burglary statistics show it made up for 1,117,696 of all crimes in 2019.

Burglary, also known as breaking and entering, typically involves a person or persons unlawfully entering a property, be it a home, commercial property, or otherwise, to commit a theft or property damage.

10. On average, the value of property stolen during burglaries amounted to $2,345 in 2019.

This data involves reported burglary cases that happened from residences during the night. An unlawful act of burglary usually happens at residences during night time when the household members are all asleep.   

11. There were over 721k motor vehicle theft cases in the US in 2019.

Statistics show that motor vehicle theft is a significantly less common crime. It is defined as the unlawful acquisition (or the attempted unlawful acquisition) of a motor vehicle from its owner, including cars, SUVs, motorcycles, trucks, and buses. Bicycles do not count in motor vehicle theft cases; instead, they’re included in the larceny statistics.

Unlike with other types of property crime, motor vehicle theft statistics show that the trend is not a steady decrease. In comparison, property crime statistics 2018 show 748,841 cases, and there were 772,943 cases in 2017. However, the lowest record was for 2014, when there were 686,803 cases. 

Key takeaway: 

Motor vehicle theft rates in the United States denote that this property crime is the only type that has become more common over the past five years.

12. Honda Civic is the most frequently stolen passenger vehicle in the US, accounting for 38,426 thefts.

The infamous title for the year’s most stolen vehicle goes to Honda Civic. In 2018, there were 38,426 units of this car model that were stolen. This number though indicates a decline in the rate of Honda Civic car theft by 14.7% since last year, similar to the theft rate trend for the Honda Accord. 

13. National property crime statistics reveal that there were over 32,000 arson cases in the US in 2019.

The least common of the property damage crimes on record, arson is defined as intentionally burning property, such as buildings, with the malicious intention of vandalism or destruction. In 2019, the arson statistics show 32,358 cases for the year. Over 6,000 were cases of burning a single-occupancy residential, while over 7,000 involved the burning of motor vehicles.

14. $16,371 is the estimated value of property damaged per arson offense.

With the number of arson cases mentioned above, the average damage per incident reached more than $16,000. As to the type of property, industrial/manufacturing arson incidents incurred the highest amount of damages estimated at $190,336.

Property Crime Statistics 2019

15. There was a decline of 5.6% in property crimes in the US during the first six months of 2019.

If this trend continues, then it’s likely that the decrease in property crime will be higher by the end of the year. It’s also worth noting that the drop in the overall property crime in the first half of 2019 is due to the decline in all types of property crime cases 2019 experienced.

Specifically, there was a decline of 11.1% in burglaries, motor vehicle thefts went down by 6.7%, 4.2% decrease in larceny-thefts, and arson offenses dropped by 12.5%.

16. Property crime rates in cities with 10,000 to 24,999 populations decreased by 8.1%, while only 1.0% in cities with populations of 1 million and more.   

Overall, property crime incidents were lessened in all city population groups, property crime rates by city show. This is a good indication that improvements have been made in the enforcement of the corresponding laws.

17. There were nearly 7 million property crimes in the United States in 2019.

In 2019, there were 6,925,677 property crimes reported in the United States.

Now, many will immediately agree that this is a startlingly high number. But when compared to the overall incident of property crime cases, the trends are actually quite promising.

18. Over $13 billion worth of property was stolen in 2019.

Perhaps you’re wondering:

What are the costs of property crimes?

Unfortunately, the overall costs of property crime are difficult to ascertain with the stats available. Vandalism statistics, for instance, may indicate an even larger figure, but the currently available theft statistics show that over $13 billion worth of property was stolen in 2019. Furthermore, only around $3.8 billion of that property was returned.

Of all the property stolen, locally stolen motor vehicles were the most valuable — worth over $5 billion.

19. 1 million people were arrested for property offenses in the US in 2019.

More stealing statistics highlight the difficulty with which police handle property crimes in the US. While there were around 7 million property crimes in 2019, only 1,074,367 people were actually arrested on property offenses.

It is worth bearing in mind that those arrested for property offenses may be charged with more than one crime. So, it’s not as straightforward as claiming that 1-in-7 property crimes lead to an arrest.

Wrap up: The State of Property Crime Rates in the US

While crime rates are on the decrease across the board, property crimes still remain the most common type of crime. Indeed, the property crime rate is diminishing at a pace that is roughly equivalent to the overall decrease in crime throughout the country. Yet, a closer look at the statistics shows a different story for those affected.

The stats show that property crime is one of the most difficult kinds of crime to police. Only a small portion of property crimes are reported in the first place, and fewer still are solved by the police. This is represented not only by the number of cases closed, but also the property crime stats on arrests throughout the period for 2018.

Bottom line:

While crime rates continue to decrease, it’s clear that measures may need to be taken to make property crime less of a threat across the US.