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10 Cities in California Where You Should Probably Lock Your Doors

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When it comes to the Golden State, visions of palm trees, beaches, and Hollywood glitz often come to mind. But let’s face it, not every corner of California is a sun-soaked paradise. Some areas require a bit more vigilance, especially when it comes to securing your home. Here, we’ll take a no-nonsense look at ten cities in California where you should probably lock your doors.

1. Oakland

Oakland, just across the bay from San Francisco, is a vibrant city with a rich cultural scene and deep history. However, it’s also known for its higher crime rates. With a population of over 400,000, Oakland experiences a significant number of burglaries and violent crimes annually. The city’s diverse neighborhoods range from the upscale Piedmont to the more troubled areas like East Oakland. While efforts are continually being made to improve safety, it’s wise to keep your home secure and be aware of your surroundings here.

2. Stockton

Stockton is another city where locking your doors is not just a suggestion but a necessity. Known for its challenging economic conditions, Stockton has faced high crime rates for years. Despite community efforts to enhance safety, property crimes such as burglary and auto theft remain prevalent. Located in the Central Valley, Stockton’s crime rates are consistently higher than the national average, making it essential for residents to prioritize home security.

3. San Bernardino

San Bernardino, nestled in Southern California’s Inland Empire, often makes headlines for its crime statistics. This city has struggled with economic hardship, leading to higher rates of violent and property crimes. Home invasions and theft are common, particularly in the city’s less affluent neighborhoods. While San Bernardino has many charming areas and dedicated residents working towards improvement, caution is still advised when it comes to securing your home.

4. Modesto

Modesto, located in the heart of the Central Valley, is known for its agricultural heritage and close-knit community. However, it also has a reputation for crime, especially property crimes like burglary and larceny. The city’s crime rate is higher than the national average, with certain areas being more prone to incidents. For residents and visitors alike, taking proactive measures to safeguard homes and vehicles is a smart move.

5. Bakersfield

Bakersfield is famous for its country music legacy and oil production, but it’s also known for having a higher crime rate than many other California cities. Property crime, in particular, is a significant issue, with frequent reports of home break-ins and theft. The city’s sprawling nature and economic disparities contribute to these challenges. Ensuring that your home is secure and being vigilant about your surroundings can help mitigate risks.

6. Compton

Compton, located in Los Angeles County, has worked hard to shed its notorious past, but challenges remain. While crime rates have decreased over the years, property crimes such as burglary and theft are still concerns. The city’s proximity to Los Angeles and its socioeconomic conditions contribute to the crime rate. Residents and visitors should take practical steps to ensure their safety and protect their property.

7. Richmond

Richmond, located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, has a diverse community and a rich industrial history. However, it also has one of the higher crime rates in the state. Property crimes, particularly burglary and car theft, are common. Despite community efforts to improve safety and revitalize the city, it’s important to remain cautious and keep your doors locked in Richmond.

8. Fresno

Fresno, the largest city in the Central Valley, is a major agricultural hub. Unfortunately, it also has a high rate of property crime. Burglary, theft, and vandalism are frequent issues in many neighborhoods. The city’s size and economic challenges contribute to these problems. Residents should be diligent about home security and aware of their environment to reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

9. Salinas

Salinas, known for its agricultural contributions and as the hometown of John Steinbeck, faces significant crime challenges. The city has a high rate of violent crime and property crime, including burglaries and auto theft. The economic disparities and gang activities in certain areas exacerbate these issues. Ensuring that your home is secure and being cautious in your daily activities are essential steps for residents.

10. Los Angeles

No list of California cities with crime concerns would be complete without mentioning Los Angeles. As the second-largest city in the United States, LA has a complex tapestry of neighborhoods, each with its own crime challenges. While areas like Beverly Hills and Santa Monica are relatively safe, other parts of the city, such as South Central and certain neighborhoods in the San Fernando Valley, have higher crime rates. Property crimes, including home burglaries and car thefts, are common. Given its vast size and diversity, it’s crucial for LA residents to be vigilant about home security.


California is a state of contrasts, with its stunning natural beauty and thriving urban centers. However, like any state, it has areas where crime is a serious concern. If you’re living in or visiting these ten cities, it’s wise to take extra precautions to secure your home and belongings. Simple measures like locking your doors, installing security systems, and staying aware of your surroundings can go a long way in keeping you and your property safe. Remember, staying informed and prepared is the best way to enjoy all that California has to offer while minimizing risk.