Common Tread

Five best places to get your motorcycle stolen

Nov 04, 2015

The Las Vegas, Nev., and Myrtle Beach, S.C., areas have a couple of things in common: big motorcycle rallies take place there and thieves love to shop for motorcycles there. 

The National Insurance Crime Bureau, an insurance industry group, looked at records of motorcycle thefts for last year, and some of the stats might surprise you. Overall thefts were down 6 percent, and 41 percent of the stolen bikes were recovered.

What I found more interesting was where those thefts happened. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but if you're not careful your motorcycle might also stay in Vegas after you've left. That city had more thefts in 2014 than any other, easily edging out second-place New York.

2014 motorcycle thefts by city
Rank City Thefts Change from 2013
1 Las Vegas 1,163 29 percent
2 New York 1,034 3 percent
3 San Diego 650 -7 percent
4 Miami 541 20 percent
5 San Francisco 516 34 percent

If you are wondering why Los Angeles didn't make the list, it's because the city of Los Angeles is just a small part of the huge metropolitan area. So the NICB also broke down the stats by county.

2014 motorcycle thefts by county
Rank County Thefts Change from 2013
1 Clark, Nev. 1,308 22 percent
2 Los Angeles, Calif. 1,272 -20 percent
3 New York, N.Y. 1,034 3 percent
4 Miami-Dade, Fla. 910 25 percent
5 San Diego, Calif. 873 -3 percent

The other way to look at the theft statistics is to rank locations by the number of thefts per resident. That list has fewer big cities and includes some places you might not think of as motorcycle theft capitals.

Motorcycle thefts per 10,000 population
Rank County Rate per 10,000 Change from 2013
1 Fairfax, Va. 41.30 -34 percent
2 Horry, S.C. 16.88 41 percent
3 Monroe, Fla. 10.61 17 percent
4 Pickens, S.C. 9.10 22 percent
5 Knox, Ind. 8.43 14 percent

Fairfax is a suburban county of Washington, D.C. Horry County includes Myrtle Beach and Monroe County includes the Florida Keys.

Be careful where you park.