New Mexico now worst in nation for property crime - Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico now worst in nation for property crime

States with highest property crime ratesCopyright © 2017 Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico climbed to the No. 1 spot among U.S. states when comparing property crime rates last year, according to data released by the FBI on Monday.

And it had the second highest rate for violent crime, following Alaska.

Although it can be difficult to rank states with varying characteristics and demographics against one another, the data does tell New Mexicans that the crime rate is something to be concerned about, said Paul Guerin, a senior research scientist at the Center for Applied Research and Analysis.

“When you look at crime itself, and look at these rates it tells a story that New Mexico is higher than other places,” he said. “But it doesn’t tell us why.”

But Guerin said there are many factors that can be used to help explain why the crime rate is so high — including substance abuse, socioeconomic issues, and even the fact that the state is crossed by major interstates leading to the West Coast and to Mexico.

He added that many more factors remain that need to be studied to determine why crime has spiked dramatically, particularly in Albuquerque, over the past couple of years.

Much of New Mexico’s reported crime is driven by Albuquerque, the state’s largest city. About 27 percent of the population calls Albuquerque home, but the city was home to 42.7 percent of violent crime and 47 percent of property crime in New Mexico.

Many of the state’s other cities — including Carlsbad, Taos and Las Cruces — showed declines in crime, although the rates increased slightly in Santa Fe.

In 2016, New Mexico law enforcement agencies reported 81,931 property crimes and 14,619 violent crimes throughout the state, according to the FBI’s Crime in the United States. That’s a rate of 3,937.1 property crimes and 702.5 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Across the nation the property crime rate per 100,000 residents was 2,450.7 and the violent crime rate was 386.3.

crime stats

The District of Columbia reported more crimes in both categories, but it is not a state.

Guerin warned that the reported data can give a skewed picture of each state because different agencies may classify crimes differently.

“Aggravated assault in Colorado is not always the same in Idaho or Montana,” he said. “That’s one of the cautions the UCR makes.”

New Mexico’s high ranking comes on the heels of 2015, when the state was ranked No. 3 for violent crime and No. 2 for property crime. Violent crimes include murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Property crimes include burglary, larceny and theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

More than 65 percent of stolen vehicles were reported stolen from Albuquerque in 2016, which had an increase of 49 percent over 2015.

A previously released report using 2016 data from the National Crime Information Center, found that the Albuquerque area — including Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia Counties — ranked No. 1 in the nation for auto thefts.


Home » News » Albuquerque News » New Mexico now worst in nation for property crime

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Mathcore band Rolo Tomassi to make first tour stop ...
ABQnews Seeker
Rolo Tomassi is heading out on ... Rolo Tomassi is heading out on a month-long tour in the United States and the tour makes a stop at Launchpad on Wednesday, June ...
36th Festival Flamenco de Alburquerque celebrates the art of ...
ABQnews Seeker
Beginning on Friday, June 9, and ... Beginning on Friday, June 9, and running through June 17, the National Institute of Flamenco puts on the oldest and largest flamenco festival outside ...
'Two Sinners and a Mule' filmed across New Mexico
ABQnews Seeker
"Two Sinners and a Mule" is ... "Two Sinners and a Mule" is currently available to rent or buy on streaming platforms.
Documentary looks at Carole King's groundbreaking concert
ABQnews Seeker
"Carole King: Home Again – Live ... "Carole King: Home Again – Live in Central Park" airs at 9 p.m. Sunday, June 4, on New Mexico PBS, channel 5.1. It will ...
HED's message to UNM and New Mexico State: Cooperate ...
ABQnews Seeker
The state's Higher Education Department wants ... The state's Higher Education Department wants the rivalry games between the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State men's basketball teams to continue. ...
Keeping score: Boxing judge, IBF executive Levi Martinez won ...
ABQnews Seeker
Las Cruces resident Levi Martinez, 70, ... Las Cruces resident Levi Martinez, 70, has judged 199 world title fights and has worked bouts involving some of the sport's biggest name. ...
Congressional Notebook: Stansbury votes ‘no’ on debt deal
ABQnews Seeker
Meanwhile, Russia says nyet to visits ... Meanwhile, Russia says nyet to visits from New Mexico leaders
Police find shooter's arsenal from May rampage that killed ...
ABQnews Seeker
Authorities provided a more detailed description ... Authorities provided a more detailed description Thursday of the arsenal that a New Mexico high school student had in his possession at the time.
Man found shot to death in Northwest Albuquerque
ABQnews Seeker
A man was shot and killed ... A man was shot and killed Thursday evening in a West Side neighborhood.