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Recent auto theft statistics show us crime now rarely stops with a stolen car, and encouraging citizens to do their part to help prevent auto theft is an important step in making Colorado safer.
Colorado State Patrol Chief Colonel Scott Hernandez

New Mexico Auto Theft

“Auto thefts saw a dramatic increase in 2020 versus 2019 in part due to the pandemic, an economic downturn, law enforcement realignment, depleted social and schooling programs, and, in still too many cases, owner complacency,” said David Glawe, president and CEO of the NICB. “For many people, a car is the second largest investment they will ever make behind a home. As such, it is important to take simple steps to protect your investment–lock your car and take your keys, no matter where you live.”

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), Albuquerque, New Mexico ranked in the nation's top ten cities for auto theft in 2020. New Mexico was also in the top 5 in the nation for auto theft from 2016 - 2020.

Unfortunately, Albuquerque is experiencing a plight similar to other cities that border Mexico and within easy access of drug cartels that use stolen cars as a means to finance and transport drugs, weapons and money into and out of Mexico.

New Mexico law enforcement, government officials, state legislators and members of the business community have partnered with the insurance industry during recent years to target the state's auto theft problem. Governor Bill Richardson signed 2009 legislation that strengthened penalties for motor vehicle theft; created new crimes of embezzlement and fraud for auto theft; relocated motor vehicle theft and damage crimes from the Motor Vehicle Code to the Criminal Code.

New Mexico Auto Theft by Location in 2020 (NICB)

Each year, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) studies Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), or major metropolitan areas to compare the number of vehicle thefts per 100,000 people.

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) 2020 Rank
out of 380 MSAs
Total Thefts
2020 Auto Theft Rate
per 100,000 people
Albuquerque 6 5,835 631.75
Las Cruces 78 703 317.72
Santa Fe 93 440 289.58
Farmington 215 234 189.76

New Mexico 's Top Ten Stolen Vehicles in 2020 (NICB)

  1. 2006 Ford Pick Up (Full Size)
  2. 2004 Chevrolet Pick-Up (Full Size)
  3. 2013 Hyundai Elantra
  4. 2001 Dodge Pick-Up (Full Size)
  5. 2015 Hyundai Sonata
  6. 2006 GMC Pick-Up (Full Size)
  7. 2015 Kia Motora Corporation Optima
  8. 2000 Honda Civic
  9. 1995 Honda Accord
  10. 2015 Nissan Altima
Additional Information