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    Most Dangerous Cities in California in 2021

Known as the “Golden State,” California is home to more than 39 million people and is the largest state in the United States in terms of population. Each year, Los Angeles attracts 42 million tourists, including 7 million foreigners visiting from outside the country. But the chances of being injured or killed keeps on rising in this so-called “sanctuary state.”

Gangster LA. Most Dangerous Cities in California in 2021
Most Dangerous Cities in California in 2021

Exploding Violent Crimes in CA?

Violent Crimes Rise Under SF and LA DAs.

With its progressive district attorneys, the single-party state has become a haven for violent crime, including motor vehicle theft and carjacking. It has seen California’s crime numbers skyrocket, especially in some hotspots. Los Angeles County has also seen larceny, theft, and total crime rate skyrocket since the election of its latest District Attorney, George Gascón.

The state itself has beautiful white sandy beaches and breathtaking natural landscapes that you can marvel at for days. Tourists flock from all over the country and world to visit the Golden Gate Bridge, Disneyland, Venice Beach, and Hollywood, some main attractions in the state.

Besides the popular destinations, California is also home to Silicon Valley, the hub of technological innovation worldwide. Each year, the state hosts Coachella, a music and arts festival where hundreds of thousands of people visit worldwide. Unfortunately, not everything in the Golden State is as prime as it seems. California sees high rates of crime each year, surpassing the national average crime rate of the United States (387 per 100,000).

Sadly, the soft-on-crime state sees rapes and robberies in broad daylight rising at a shocking rate, with daily shootings making residents flee to law and order states like Texas, Florida, and Nevada.

Even prevalent cities like Palos Verdes Estates, patrolled by Los Angeles County Sheriffs, and Hillsborough [safest city] have crimes statistics some red states would not approve of.

Ehline Law is a California-based personal injury and criminal defense law firm that protects victims’ legal rights. Contact our experienced California attorneys to learn about your legal rights if you are a victim of a crime.

Most Dangerous Cities in California in 2021


With a small population of just about 12,104 residents, Emeryville is the number one most dangerous city in California and the most dangerous small town in the entire United States.

According to the crime statistics reported by the police officers, Emeryville has 18,192 crimes per 100,000 people, which is the highest in the state. The city’s violent crime rate touches 1,429 per 100,000 people, which translates to a 1 in 70 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime.

Emeryville’s highest violent crime rate is 272% higher than the national average, with robbery, property crime, and aggravated assault topping the crime charts.

Crime rates per 100,000 in Emeryville for burglary, theft, car theft, assault, robbery, rape, and property crime are 818, 14,648, 1,297, 347, 1,008, 74, and 16,763, respectively.

According to Earl Warren, an Alameda County District Attorney, Emeryville is the “most rotten city on the Pacific Coast.” He stated that criminal activities in the city are flourishing under the encouragement of local police officials and the government.

Property crimes in Emeryville continue to rise and have become a severe problem for the residents. Residents must take precautions such as installing security systems and carrying pepper spray while traversing dangerous neighborhoods.


Oakland is home to just under 430,000 people and ranks as the second most dangerous city in California. Violent and property crimes are the most common types of crimes ravaging the town, with residents having a 1 in 16 chance of becoming a victim of either. Believe it or not, Oakland’s crime rate is about 150% higher than the U.S. national average, seeing a murder happening about every five days on average and robberies happening all the time based on FBI data.

A recent poll in the city conducted by AreaVibes, a real estate website that provides livability scores to help users determine the best places to live, revealed that 61% of the participants believed that crime is rampant and continues to rise. 59% of the respondents did not think they were safe and avoided walking alone at night.

Crime rates per 100,000 in Emeryville for murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, car theft, and property crime are 16, 104, 609, 544, 556, 3,655, 1,178, and 5,390, respectively.

Oakland has a violent crime rate of 1,274 per 100,000 people, which is 235% higher than the national average. There is a 1 in 18 chance of experiencing a property crime for anyone living in Oakland, which is three times more than the national average.

San Bernardino

Considered to be one of the most dangerous cities in California, San Bernardino is also the largest city on this list, with a population of just under 216,000 residents—the police officials in the city record, on average, 12,700 crimes annually. Although there are only 3,316 violent crimes, property crimes stand at 9,321 and are becoming a concern for the citizens.

This violent crime rate is almost five times higher than the national average. Even so, murders are five times more likely in San Bernardino. In fact, San Bernardino had the third-highest murder rate in California back in 2019.

The crime rate in San Bernardino per 100,000 for murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, and car theft are 23, 74, 470, 970, 1,085, 2,232, and 1,032, respectively.

San Bernardino is the second-largest and poorest city in the country. Immigrants flock to San Bernardino to search for cheaper living accommodations, which affects the economy and the jobs in the city. The poverty rate in San Bernardino stands at 18%, which could explain the high violent crime rates.


Located north of San Bernardino, Barstow is a small city of approximately 24,000 residents. Barstow is typically known for irrigated agriculture and the mining industry. However, it also has a crime rate of 123% higher than the national average.

A recent survey conducted by AreaVibes revealed that 63% of the residents believe that crime is rampant across the city, and 64% will avoid walking alone at night. This violent crime rate spikes at 1,183 per 100,000 people, which is 211% higher than the national average.

The crime rate per 100,000 for murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, and car theft in Barstow is 8, 58, 400, 722, 1,452, 2,445, and 713, respectively.

Barstow is a dangerous city because residents are four times more likely to experience a break-in than the rest of the country. As an aside, nearby Bakersfield ranks number 1o as a dangerous city, according to SafeWise.


With just under 13,000 residents, Commerce has California’s third-highest crime rate. Residents have a 1 in 11 chance of becoming a victim of any crime, including violent crime.

The crime rates per 100,000 in Commerce for murder, rape, robbery, and assault are 8, 70, 375, and 547, respectively.

Commerce faces one of the highest violent crime rates in the state, with 999 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Property crime rates exceed the national average, at 7,784 per 100,000. Residents living in Commerce have a 1 in 12 chance of becoming a victim of a property crime.

Around 16% of the population lives below the poverty line in Commerce, which is more than the national average. It plays a vital role in the city’s increasing violent crime levels.

Red Bluff

In the Northern part of California, Red Bluff is a small city with a population of just under 14,300 residents. The overall crime rate in Red Bluff is 6,427 per 100,000 people, increasing the chances of residents becoming victims to 1 in 15.

The crime rate per 100,000 in Red Bluff for murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, and car theft are as follows: 14, 168, 140, 833, 1,057, 3,249, and 966, respectively.

There is a 1 in 19 chance of anyone living there becoming a victim of property crime. Red Bluff is a dangerous city with three times the national average murder rate, while homeowners are four times more likely to experience a burglary.

West Hollywood

When hearing about West Hollywood, most people think about all the glitz and glamor of the gay lifestyle. However, it is far from that.

With a population of 36,854 residents and bordering one of the richest neighborhoods in the world, West Hollywood is famously known for the Sunset Strip, rock music history, and the largest gay nightlife in the Los Angeles region. However, it also has a seriously high crime rate that stands at 817 violent crimes per 100,000.

The crime rate per 100,000 in West Hollywood for murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, personal theft, and car theft are as follows: 8, 109, 345, 355, 654, 4,786, and 271, respectively.

Theft is the main type of crime carried out in the city, and citizens must ensure they are taking the necessary precautions to protect their belongings.

Santa Monica

Located in the west of Los Angeles, Santa Monica is typically known for its beautiful white sandy beaches. However, it also ranks #8 on our list of the top 10 most dangerous cities in California.

Santa Monica has 874 violent crimes per 100,000, and citizens have a 1 in 114 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime. There is also a 1 in 19 chance of becoming a victim of a property crime.

The crime rate per 100,000 in Santa Monica for murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, and car theft are as follows: 8, 66, 305, 496, 729, 4,201, and 261, respectively. Although violent crime by and against homeless people is out of hand, the city still provides shelter and housing for these individuals, who will often rotate from tents to shelters with no restroom facilities. Because of this, the Venice bike path smells like urine, and mentally ill people have taken over the area.

This crime rate is high in Santa Monica for many different reasons, but the main factor remains the influx of millions of tourists each year crashing into the current inhabitants, many of whom are mentally ill or otherwise criminal-minded. Santa Monica sees over 8.4 million visitors annually, which increases the risk of violent crime in the city.

Not all parts of Santa Monica are dangerous. However, it is important to assess the crime map and know what regions to avoid to prevent you from becoming a violent crime victim.

Signal Hill

Known as the fifth most dangerous place in California, Signal Hill spans across 2.2 sq. miles. More than anything, Signal Hill is a small city located on top of a high hill and surrounded by Long Beach City. Because of its elevation, the local Tongva Indians would make signal fires to each other from there, which is how the hill got its name.

Considered to be the 9th most dangerous city in California, Signal Hill has a population of 11,555 residents. According to the results of an AreaVibes survey, the majority of residents said they feel unsafe living in this community from all the violent crime.

This city’s violent crime rate stands at 744 per 100,000, while property crimes touch 5,989 per 100,000 people. If you’re living in Signal Hill, you have a 1 in 134 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime and a 1 in 17 chance of experiencing property crime.

The crime rate per 100,000 in Signal Hill for rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, and car theft are as follows: 87, 320, 338, 926, 4,085, and 978, respectively.

This small city experiences about 16 crimes a month on average. The crime rate here is 209% higher than the national average, with a very high violent crime rate.


Eureka is an old port city in California. Eureka has stunningly beautiful ocean views to offer and is home to the world’s largest trees, the coast redwoods. About 28,000 residents live in Eureka. The city was the main spot for the lumber industry due to its location. Still, economic activity has recently slowly died down, partly due to violent crime and safety concerns.

Today, Eureka is one of the ten most dangerous cities in California, with a serious reputation for crime. Violent crime rates are at 733 per 100,000, while property crime rates hover around 5,800 per 100,000 people. Every resident in Eureka has a one in 17 chance of becoming a victim of property crime.

Eureka’s crime rate per 100,000 for murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft and car theft are as follows: 11, 96, 237, 389,859, 3,985, and 956, respectively.

Crescent City

Crescent City sits along the Pacific Coast and gets its name from the crescent-shaped beach nearby. The place is beautiful to live in. However, residents here have a reason to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their homes.

Crescent City is home to only 6,690 people and experiences 1,148 violent crimes per 100,000 annually, putting them on our list of the most dangerous cities in California.

The crime rate per 100,000 in Crescent City for robbery, assault, burglary, and car theft are as follows: 313, 686, 1,193, and 208, respectively. These violent crimes are constantly rising.

Crescent City also experiences high rates of property crime. In 2021, the property crime rate stood at 4,160 per 100,000 people.


Known as “California’s Oldest Little City,” Marysville was founded in 1850 during the period of the Gold Rush, when miners, merchants, and capitalists moved to the region to capitalize on the booming opportunity at the time. Violent crime was typical of its day, but nothing like today.

For a short period in 1852, Marysville became the third-largest city in California. However, today, there are just under 12,100 people residing in Marysville as people started to move after the Gold Rush for better opportunities. Tourists with an appetite for historic monuments and culture flock to Marysville to study the grand architecture of the time. Violent crime is not something people are expecting.

Recent reports put Marysville as one of the most dangerous cities in California. The violent crime rate in Marysville stands at 1,126 per 100,000, while property crimes here are skyrocketing. The property crime rate per 100,000 is about 3,698.

The crime rate per 100,000 in Marysville for robbery, assault, burglary, and car theft are as follows: 119, 854, 503, and 1,557, respectively.

What’s surprising is that Marysville had almost double the car theft rate of Stockton, a relatively large city in California with over 300,000 residents. The city comes in second place when it comes to the highest number of rape cases. Don’t forget areas like National City see their fair share of homicides and rapes cases, so keep your head on a swivel and dress down when you go out. Don’t drive a nice car if you want to live in CA and be free of violent crime.

The criminals know they will get a soft-on crime District Attorney, with some even getting tattoos of the prosecutors as a sign of gratitude for being set free to commit violent crime again. Are you living in one of California’s most dangerous cities? How was your city ranked as crime problems have catapulted across the nation? Do you live in one of those pockets of safety like the California city of Newport Beach?

Safety Tips for Californian Residents

California has a violent crime rate of 447 per 100,000 people, which puts California on the list of the most dangerous states in the country. The city saw the highest number of murders in 2018, with the figure touching 1,739.

Although the state is quite populous, it has a disproportionate crime level. 12% of the United States population resides in California, and about 14% of all crimes in the country happen in California too.

What’s surprising is that while the crime rates are extremely high in the state, it has very low incarceration rates.

If you’re living in California, here are some tips that you should follow to protect your home and family.

Home Security System

Home security systems effectively prevent break-ins and reduce burglary attempts at a property. A study conducted by North Carolina University revealed that home security systems prevent 60% of all burglaries from happening. The study proved that several indicators of security, such as loud security alarms, dogs, cameras, and other equipment, are effective in reducing the risk of burglars entering a property.

Lock the Doors

Americans often don’t realize the threats around them. For example, a recent study showed that 20% of Americans don’t always lock their doors before leaving their homes, while 7% don’t lock their doors at all. These studies correspond with the burglar’s habit of walking straight to the front door and trying their luck to see if the door is open. Most burglaries start with an unlocked front door.

On average, 27% of the homes in the United States remain unlocked, increasing the chances of finding an easy target for the burglar to have at. Burglars are quick in what they do and have the necessary skills to find valuables in the house and leave with them in just 10 minutes. Even if you’re leaving your home to grab something from a nearby grocery store, make sure you lock your doors.

Leave the Light On

It is easier for a burglar to target empty homes than those with people living in them. To find empty homes, they search the neighborhood for homes with an empty driveway or homes that are completely dark in the evening. Such signs let the burglars know that no one is in the house.

A survey conducted by the Idaho News Station revealed that the majority of burglaries occur between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., which is the time when most people are either at work or in school. The best way to deter burglars when you’re not at home is to leave the lights or the radio on, which will warn the burglars that the house is not empty.

Fence Your Home

Burglars try to rob homes that look like easy targets. They’ll avoid breaking into homes on the main road, inside a gated community, or surrounded by neighbors. Fencing your home gives the impression that the homeowner might be a challenging target to rob. It also reduces the escape routes, making it difficult for a burglar to burglarize.

Safety Tips for Traveling in California

Whether traveling to a nearby store for groceries or heading to work, it is essential to take the necessary precautions when traveling in California.

Here are some safety tips you should follow when roaming the Californian streets.

Keep a Pepper Spray

According to police officials, carrying pepper spray while roaming around in California is smart as these are small, portable devices that shoot chemicals up to 8 feet, causing severe irritation and burning. It is a great device to defend yourself from attackers that are bigger and stronger than you.

Swelling, coughing, difficulty breathing, hyperventilation, a burning sensation, and nasal discharge are all symptoms a person experiences after getting pepper sprayed.

Use Safety App

Several safety apps on the iOS app store and Google Play can be installed on your mobile phones to prevent attackers from approaching you. Safety apps are a great way to improve your level of protection while walking around California.

Some apps can produce deafening sounds that can alert people around you to draw attention, while others have tracking features that allow guardians or loved ones to track your location in real time.

Some safety apps are directly connected to the different police departments, and an alarm can alert police officials of a crime about to happen.

Don’t Travel Alone

A crime can happen anywhere at any time, so you shouldn’t be walking alone, so ask someone to assist you or travel in groups, especially at night. Rapes and assaults in the state mainly occur at night when the victims travel alone, making it easier for the perpetrator to carry out the heinous crime.

Because it is not always possible to travel in a large group, keep pepper spray on you at all times and a safety app on your mobile devices to alert law enforcement authorities if you’re in trouble.

Avoid Dangerous Neighborhoods

California has more than 480 cities, and not all cities or neighborhoods have spiking high crime rates, so make sure to check the details of the online crime map to know the types of crimes occurring in the different areas.

The crime map can let you know which areas are more susceptible to crimes so that you can avoid those areas while traveling. For example, gang violence is usually centralized within a couple of blocks, and residents can avoid these areas by simply looking at the city’s crime map.

Although the tips provided help prevent you from becoming a victim of a crime, they do not guarantee 100% safety, as a crime can occur at any time, especially when you least expect it. If you suffered injuries as a victim of a crime, contact us at + (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation on your case.

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Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.