New Mexico is a hot bed for property crime. The state has one of the highest larceny-theft rates and one of the highest motor vehicle theft rates in the country. In contrast to arson and many violent crimes, people generally seek to commit theft related property crimes because of the expected personal financial gain from committing such crimes. As such, it can be expected that the crime rates will be higher in areas where poverty rates are higher than national averages. The immorality of theft subsides to a perceived necessity for those facing a dire financial situation. Unsurprisingly, New Mexico has one of the highest poverty rates in the United States.
Another potential reason people may choose to commit property crimes is the likelihood of them being caught and therefore charged. A look at the crime clearance rates for different crimes in the United States shows that people are much less likely to be caught when committing property crimes than violent crimes. The crime criminals appear most likely to get away with in the United States is arson. Among crimes of arson, it is even more unlikely that someone will be caught for arson of a motor vehicle.