The Most Burglarized Cities in Every State

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The most-burglarized city in every state

We found the most-burglarized city in every state and the results may surprise you—it looks like burglars prefer small towns over big cities.

Among the cities with the most burglaries per capita, only nine (19%) have populations higher than 15,000 people. On the flipside, another nine (19%) are home to fewer than 1,000 residents. 

Nationwide, burglary is the second-most common property crime, accounting for 16% of all reported incidents. But in the most-burglarized cities, that jumps up to 23%.

See where burglars are busiest in your state (and where a new security cam might help out the most) in the full list below.

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Burglary risks

In 2019, burglaries cost Americans around $3 billion in property losses, for an average loss of $2,661 per offense.¹ With so much money on the line, we were surprised to find that only 28% of Americans use a security camera to protect their property and even fewer (25%) use a home security system.²

United states map displaying each state's city with the highest burglary rate

A closer look at the most-burglarized cities in every state

  • The top 5 cities with the most burglaries per capita are Vernon, California; Sauget, Illinois; Maggie Valley, North Carolina; Berry Hill, Tennessee; and Quincy, Florida.
  • Vernon, California is a major outlier, with more burglaries reported than there are people who live there. In 2019, this tiny California town reported 133 burglaries among its 112 residents. That works out to 118.8 burglaries per 100 people—more than 111 incidents higher than the next-closest town of Sauget, Illinois with 7.32 burglaries per 100.
  • 36 (75%) of the cities on the list had fewer than two burglaries per 100 people.
  • 14 cities (29%) reported fewer than one burglary per 100 people.
  • Vernon, California is the smallest city on the list with 112 residents. Des Moines, Iowa is the most populous with 218,384—but Des Moines has 99% fewer burglaries per 100 people than Vernon (1.05 versus 118.75, respectively).
  • Only 9 of the most-burglarized cities (19%) have populations above 15,000—the threshold we use to rank the 100 Safest Cities in America.
  • 81% of the cities (39) have populations below 15,000.
  • 60% of the top 5 most-burglarized cities are in the south.
  • Burglars are less busy in New England. Even the most-burglarized cities in New England states report fewer than one burglary per 100 residents. 

The full list: Find your state's most-burglarized city

State
State's most-burglarized city
City population
City's total burglaries in 2019
Burglary rate*
AlaskaWasilla10,9151151.05
ArizonaTolleson7,3992062.78
ArkansasEl Dorado17,8205242.94
CaliforniaVernon112133118.75
ColoradoBlack Hawk12843.13
ConnecticutNew Haven130,4946590.51
DelawareLaurel4,469420.94
FloridaQuincy7,1432423.39
GeorgiaNashville4,799571.19
IdahoSandpoint8,873590.66
IllinoisSauget164127.32
IndianaSouth Bend101,9448670.85
IowaDes Moines218,3842,2841.05
KansasIndependence8,497931.09
KentuckyEdmonton1,567201.28
LouisianaBastrop10,1563022.97
MaineMexico2,605200.77
MarylandOcean City6,905941.36
MassachusettsNorth Adams12,800880.69
MichiganMuskegon Heights10,7171131.05
MinnesotaClearbrook52091.73
MississippiSummit1,577472.98
MissouriNorthmoor34961.72
MontanaBillings110,1986080.55
NebraskaNebraska City7,273680.93
NevadaWinnemucca7,800560.72
New HampshireColebrook2,114140.66
New JerseyStone Harbor804141.74
New MexicoDeming14,0112181.56
New YorkWoodridge Village77681.03
North CarolinaMaggie Valley1,230504.07
North DakotaBelfield1,02890.88
OhioCanton70,1399621.37
OklahomaGeary1,276302.35
OregonCoos Bay16,4711721.04
PennsylvaniaSouthwest Regional13121.53
Rhode IslandNew Shoreham1,03270.68
South CarolinaBlackville2,194622.83
South DakotaMartin1,071201.87
TennesseeBerry Hill515193.69
TexasBowie5,040701.39
UtahSouth Salt Lake25,5992551
VermontBrattleboro11,401530.46
VirginiaElkton2,900341.17
WashingtonEphrata8,2531051.27
West Virginia Huntington45,6754561
Wisconsin Mauston4,364701.6
WyomingWheatland3,544240.68

Methodology

To find the most-burglarized city in each state, we analyzed the most recent FBI burglary statistics and population data.2 We excluded cities with populations below 100 and any that didn’t report complete data to the FBI in 2019 (the most recent year for which data was available). 

To even the playing field, we calculated the number of burglaries reported per 100 people in each city that qualified in every state. The city with the highest number of burglaries per 100 people for each state landed on our list.

Alabama and Hawaii were excluded because there weren’t enough city data to analyze; only one city in each state provided burglary data in 2019. Washington, D.C. was also excluded.


Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past decade. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime and safety reports and spotting trends. Her expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like NPR, TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of podcast, radio and TV clips in the US and abroad.

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