PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon and Washington saw some of the highest rates of motor vehicle theft in the U.S. in 2022, crime statistics released by the FBI on Oct. 16 show.
The state with the highest rate of stolen cars in 2022 was Colorado, with 785.7 stolen vehicles per 100,000 people, national FBI crime statistics show. Washington ranked second on the list with a rate of 693.3 automobiles stolen per 100,000 people. Oregon was third with a rate of 551.5 motor vehicle thefts. The national average for 2022 was 282.7 cars stolen per 100,000 people — roughly half the rate seen in Oregon during the same period.
Like Washington, Oregon saw a significant increase in stolen cars for the second year in a row in 2022. Between 2020 and 2022, Oregon saw a 41% increase in car theft, the FBI data shows. A previous report by KOIN 6 News showed that vehicle theft was still a problem in Portland during January and February of 2023, with an average of 30 cars stolen in Portland every day, according to Portland Police Bureau statistics. Since that time, the number of cars stolen in Portland dropped significantly, falling to a rate of roughly 20 stolen cars per day in July and August. PPB spokesperson Mike Benner told KOIN 6 News that Portland had a 38% reduction in car thefts between January and September of 2023.
“East Precinct Officers team up with community partners regularly to track down stolen vehicles,” Benner said. “During one mission just a few weeks ago, officers located 13 stolen vehicles in 21 traffic stops.”
FBI data shows that Oregon also had significantly higher rates of arson, property crime and theft in 2022, compared to the U.S. average. Benner told KOIN 6 News that PPB is actively working to address these crime rates in the Portland area.
“We know that all crimes, in this case, vehicle thefts, property crimes, and arson, can be extremely impactful for victims,” Benner said. “PPB members take these crimes very seriously. Our Stolen Vehicle Operations are an example of the progressive work we’re doing.”
While homicide rates have more than doubled in Oregon since 2018, the FBI report shows that Oregon’s violent crime rates have remained below the national average since 1985. After seeing a gradual increase in homicides between 2018 and 2021, Oregon and the U.S. both saw a drop in murder cases in 2022.