ODESSA, Texas- New data shows the city of Odessa was ranked number four in the nation for the most auto thefts per 100,000 people.
There were over 880,000 vehicle thefts across the nation just this past year. A high rate of those thefts happened right here in West Texas.
With Odessa high up on the list of auto theft rates this past year, the Lone Star State is also not far behind that number.
Texas as a state ranked second in the country in total auto thefts with over 93,000 last year.
But for local insurance agents, multiple factors makes this news unsurprising— especially here in the basin.
“Being ranked that high is really not that surprising,” said Odessa State Farm insurance agent Chris Wray.
“We’ve seen trends of stolen vehicles increasing as we’ve grown with the economy and every time it seems like the car thefts jack up just a little bit more.”
These recent auto theft numbers have been hurting Odessans’ wallets for years now as insurance agents say these rates have been skyrocketing for some time.
“Odessa, we have seen unfortunately rates raising steadily for the last I would say 15 years,” said Tarrant McKenzie of McKenzie Insurance.
“Sometimes faster than others, sometimes slower, but I haven’t really seen anything drop down significantly since I started working here for the most part.”
This issue has pushed Odessans to create solutions to slow the auto theft increase. The two main ones being: surveillance and communication.
Law enforcement is constantly sharing tips to prevent your vehicle from being stolen.
- Don’t leave your vehicles running unattended.
- Make sure you have lighting in your driveway or park under a light in a parking lot.
- Make sure your valuables are hidden or taken out of the car