The word larceny is a late Middle English word.  It was derived from the Anglo-Norman word larcin which means theft.  There is a possibility that its Latin root is latrocinium, which is a derivative of latro or robber.

In the United States, larceny is a common crime involving theft.  Larceny is an offense which involves the unlawful taking, carrying or riding away of the personal property of another person. For instance, thefts of motor vehicles, bicycles, auto parts, pocket-picking and shoplifting. Attempted larcenies are included in this crime.  However, forgery, embezzlement and check fraud are are excluded.

Interesting facts

The following are some interesting facts based on the FBI’s data:

  • Average dollar amount of property taken during larceny-thefts was $988 per offense
  • 68% of property crimes in 2010 were larceny-thefts
  • 26% of larceny-thefts were motor vehicles-related thefts
  • Nationally, estimated loss to larceny victims was more than $6.1 billion

Would you like to know which states have the highest or lowest larceny rate?  Use our interactive heat map to see larceny-thefts density across the USA.  Click on the state to find out their ranking.

Crime Heatmap Color Range

We obtained the data from the latest Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics (2012).  Rates are calculated per 100,000 people to provide a balanced comparison across the states.

Top 10 States with the Lowest Larceny Rate

The table below presents a ranking list of top 10 States with the lowest larceny rate.  New Jersey, Idaho and Massachusetts ranked the top 3 states with the lowest larceny-theft rate.

Top 10 States with Lowest Larceny Rate
Rank State Name Population, 2013 est Larceny Rate, per 100K
1 New Jersey 8,899,339 1383.7
2 Idaho 1,612,136 1447.7
3 Massachusetts 6,692,824 1494.4
4 New York 19,651,127 1503.5
5 North Dakota 723,393 1505.8
6 South Dakota 844,877 1541.4
7 Connecticut 3,596,080 1550.7
8 Iowa 3,090,416 1584.8
9 Pennsylvania 12,773,801 1603.1
10 Michigan 9,895,622 1612

Top 10 States with the Highest Larceny Rate

District of Columbia, South Carolina and Louisiana ranked the top 3 States with the highest larceny-theft rate.  See the following table for more details.

Top 10 States with Highest Larceny Rate
Rank State Name Population, 2013 est Larceny Rate, per 100K
1 District of Columbia 646,449 3725.3
2 South Carolina 4,774,839 2588.3
3 Louisiana 4,625,470 2453.7
4 Arizona 6,626,624 2439.1
5 Oregon 3,930,065 2400.9
6 Washington 6,971,406 2395.3
7 Arkansas 2,959,373 2384.7
8 Delaware 925,749 2380.6
9 Missouri 6,044,171 2338.4
10 Utah 2,900,872 2328.4