Crime Rate in Modesto [2024] 👮‍♂️ | Is Modesto CA Safe? [Crime Map + Statistics]

Moving to the San Joaquin Valley but not sure if Modesto is right for you? Crime is one of many important factors to consider when choosing a new home.

Is Modesto safe? While crime in Modesto is higher than the national average, it’s safer than many large cities in California. There are also many safe, family-friendly neighborhoods in the city. Here’s everything you need to know about the Modesto crime rate.

Modesto Crime Rate Overview

Before exploring Modesto crime, it’s helpful to understand how crime rates are calculated – and their limitations. Most crime rates, including those below, are based on the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program with eight index crimes. This program was phased out in 2021, however, and the National Incident Based Reporting System is now used for more comprehensive reporting of 20 index crimes.

Modesto crime rates only consider select crimes that are considered very serious, but remember the limitations of crime rates:

  • Offenses like drug offenses and DUIs are not included
  • Crime rates are misleading – a city can be overwhelmingly safe with just a few neighborhoods accounting for a disproportionate share of crime
  • Only crimes reported to the police are included
  • How the police department reports crime and the accuracy of reports can skew data

Remember that the Modesto CA crime rate needs to be given context. The FBI also warns against using crime rates to make comparisons between cities.

What Is the Crime Rate in Modesto CA?

The Modesto California crime rate is:

  • 3,178 total crimes per 100,000 people
  • 2,444 property crimes per 100,000 people
  • 734 violent crimes per 100,000 people
  • 7.4 homicides per 100,000

You have a 1 in 32 chance of being the victim of crime. Overall, Modesto crime is 37% higher than the national average with 91% more violent crime.

Below, you can see how the Modesto CA crime rate compares to the California and national average.

2021 Modesto Crime Rate Comparison
(Crimes Per 100,000)
Crime Rate Property Crime Rate Violent Crime Rate Homicide Rate
Modesto 3,178 2,444 734 7.4
California 2,581 2,139 442 5.6
National 2,346 1,958 388 6.5

Violent Crime in Modesto

The 2021 Modesto violent crime rate is 734 per 100,000 residents. That’s 39.7% above the California average and 47.1% above the U.S. average. The Modesto murder rate is 7.4 per 100,000 people, 24% over the California average and 12% higher than the U.S. average.

In 2021, there were 1,603 violent crimes reported to the Modesto Police Department including:

  • 1,177 aggravated assaults (down 2% year-over-year)
  • 264 robberies (down 6%)
  • 127 rapes (up 20%)
  • 10 homicides (down 38%)


The violent crime rate in Modesto CA may be higher than average, but it’s declined every year since 2016. There were 10 Modesto murders in 2021, the lowest number since 2007 when there were 8 Modesto homicide cases. Homicides reached a high in 2015 of 28. Throughout Stanislaus County, there were 30 homicides in 2021, the lowest number since at least 2009, the last year with data available. That was also nearly 24% lower than the average homicides of 39 over the previous 10 years.

5-year Modesto violent crime trend:

  • 2017: 2,074 reported crimes
  • 2018: 1,903 reported crimes
  • 2019: 1,760 reported crimes
  • 2020: 1,603 reported crimes
  • 2021: 1,578 reported crimes

Property Crime in Modesto

The 2021 Modesto property crime rate is 2,444 property crimes per 100,000 residents. That’s 12.5% above the California average and 19.9% above the U.S. average.

In 2021, there were 5,340 property crimes reported to Modesto police including:

  • 3,723 thefts (up 5% year-over-year)
  • 917 car thefts (down 17%)
  • 583 burglaries (down 17%)


5-year Modesto property crime trend:

  • 2017: 8,465 reported crimes
  • 2018: 7,720 reported crimes
  • 2019: 7,184 reported crimes
  • 2020: 5,340 reported crimes
  • 2021: 5,223 reported crimes

Modesto California Crime Rate Comparison

Another way to understand Modesto crime is to put it in perspective. Comparing crime in Modesto to other cities of comparable size may be helpful.

Modesto is home to 219,000 people. Here’s how crime in Modesto CA compares to crime in other cities with 200,000 to 240,000 people.

Safer mid-sized cities include:

  • Boise, ID: 48% less crime and 60% less violent crime
  • Oxnard, CA: 24% less crime and 51% less violent crime
  • Scottsdale, AZ: 19% less crime and 71% less violent crime
  • Richmond, VA: 2% less crime and 49% less violent crime

Similarly sized cities with less crime than Modesto include:

  • Tacoma, WA: 149% more crime and 61% more violent crime
  • Salt Lake City, UT: 146% more crime and 32% more violent crime
  • Baton Rouge, LA: 77% more crime and 65% more violent crime
  • Knoxville, TN: 53% more crime and 13% more violent crime
  • San Bernardino, CA: 32% more crime and 91% more violent crime

Here’s how the Modesto crime rate compares with other large cities in California.


Crime in Modesto vs Other California Cities
City Total Crime (per 100k) Total Crime vs Modesto Violent Crime (per 100k) Violent Crime vs Modesto
Oakland 6,457 103% higher 1,291 76% higher
San Francisco 4,938 55% higher 544 26% lower
Bakersfield 4,520 42% higher 517 30% lower
Stockton 4,259 34% higher 1,277 74% higher
San Bernardino 4,202 32% higher 1,402 91% higher
Fresno 3,742 18% higher 665 9% lower
Riverside 3,431 8% higher 446 39% lower
Sacramento 3,428 8% higher 683 7% lower
Long Beach 3,253 2% higher 506 31% lower
Modesto 3,178 - 734 -
Anaheim 2,872 10% lower 353 52% lower
Los Angeles 2,870 10% lower 722 2% lower
Moreno Valley 2,768 13% lower 387 47% lower
San Jose 2,741 14% lower 425 42% lower
Santa Ana 2,508 21% lower 429 42% lower
Oxnard 2,412 24% lower 354 52% lower
San Diego 2,213 30% lower 377 49% lower
Irvine 1,550 51% lower 51 93% lower
Santa Clarita 1,038 67% lower 131 82% lower

Modesto Crime Map & Police Reports

The Modesto Police Department offers several tools to help you better understand crime in the city. The police department partners with CrimeMapping.com to provide an interactive map of Modesto crime. You can explore crime in Modesto CA by type of offense, date range, and distance from a specific address. The Modesto crime map is perfect for finding a safe neighborhood or learning more about crime near your home.

You can also check the Modesto Police Department activity log and department records for a more in-depth look at crime. The police chief’s monthly report is released online with a breakdown of each month’s calls for service, arrests, major crime statistics, traffic and DUI statistics, and other data collected by the Modesto CA police department.

Dangerous Areas of Modesto

Crime can happen anywhere, but certain areas of Modesto have higher crime on average. In general, Central Modesto (including downtown) and South Modesto (or South Side) tend to have the highest rates of crime in the city. These are the Modesto neighborhoods or areas with the most crime but keep in mind they can still be great places to live – serious crime may be more targeted or isolated in hotspots.

  • Downtown Modesto
  • South Modesto or South Side, the region south of the Tuolumne River sometimes known as Little Mexico
  • Shackelford
  • East Modesto/Graceada Park
  • Sunnyside Acres
  • Woodman/Sycamore Park
  • Coolidge Colony/Orangeburg Park

Safest Neighborhoods in Modesto

In general, the safest areas of Modesto are Northeast Modesto and Northwest Modesto. Most crime, especially violent crime, is concentrated in Central and South Modesto.

Here are some safe neighborhoods in Modesto to explore.

  • La Loma: This Central Modesto neighborhood has an active community, Neighborhood Watch, and is a member of the Modesto Neighborhoods nonprofit. There are regular community events and improvement projects including the recent East La Loma Park Playground project.
  • Beyer/Sylvan At The Lakes: This large, new community in Northeast Modesto is centered around the Beyer Community Park and skate park and the Stockard Coffee Elementary School.
  • Hacienda Del Sol: This new neighborhood in Northeast Modesto has mostly single-family homes built between 2005 and 2018. It’s served by James C. Enochs High School.
  • Rose Hollow: This desirable Modesto neighborhood in Northwest Modesto boasts spacious single-family homes built in the last twenty years.
  • Orleans Estates: This established family-friendly neighborhood in Northeast Modesto is close to amenities and served by some of the city’s best schools.

Modesto CA Safety Tips

  • Take advantage of a Home Security Inspection from the MPD’s Crime Prevention Unit for suggestions to improve your home’s security.
  • Check if your neighborhood has a Neighborhood Watch program.
  • Car thefts and thefts from vehicles are common crimes in Modesto, especially around the downtown area. Do not leave any valuables in your vehicle, try to park in well-lit and secure areas, and consider investing in a steering wheel or tire lock if you park in a high-risk area.
  • Modesto Junior College (MJC) students can use the Student Escort Program for nighttime security escorts within the campus area.

Modesto Police Department

  • Police chief: Brandon Gillespie
  • Officers: 210 sworn officers (104 civilian staff)
  • Modesto Police Department address: 600 10th Street, Modesto, CA 95354
  • Non-emergency number: (209) 572-9500

The Modesto Police Department, established in 1884, serves more than 218,000 residents over 37 square miles. According to the department’s 2021 Annual Report, it staffs 210 sworn officers, 104 civilian staff, and 38 volunteers. That’s 1.4 officers per 1,000 residents – lower than the California average of 3.6 officers per 1,000. The department responds to nearly 160,000 calls for service every year.

The Modesto CA police department participates in many community events including National Night Out, the Leadership Academy, and Hoops & Hot Dogs. They operate several unique programs to serve the community including the Community Health and Assistance Team (CHAT), the Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART), the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program, and Downtown Collaboration.

The city is divided into four quadrants or divisions with each Area Command overseen by a police lieutenant.

Modesto Crime Rate FAQs

Is Modesto CA Safe?

California has a higher crime rate than the national average and, like many larger cities, Modesto does have higher-than-average crime. Modesto is safer than many California cities like San Francisco, Oakland, Fresno, and Sacramento but the crime rate is 37% higher than the national average.

What Is the Modesto California Crime Rate?

The crime rate in Modesto CA is 3,178 total crimes per 100,000 with 734 violent crimes and 2,444 property crimes per 100,000 people. By comparison, the US crime rate is 2,346 crimes per 100,000 with 388 violent crimes and 1,958 property crimes per 100,000.

Is Downtown Modesto Safe?

Downtown Modesto is mostly safe, but certain crimes are more likely to occur here like theft, car thefts, and assault, especially in nightlife areas.

Is Modesto living in your future? Don’t be intimidated by the Modesto CA crime rate; there are many safe places to live in the city that are perfect for families, singles, and retirees. The friendly Modesto movers at Grace Moving Company are here to help with your relocation: call us today for a free, personalized estimate!

Patrick Bolger
Patrick Bolger
We are Patrick and Sally Bolger, and we own and operate Grace Moving Company. We were set-up on a blind date nearly 25 years ago and have been married almost 20 years now! In the early years, Patrick worked at Bambacigno Steel and Sally was the marketing director at a large retirement community in Modesto.

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