Indiana

10 Most Dangerous Cities In Indiana 2023: In Harm’s Way

indiana dangerous places

The common belief was that the primary strategy to evade danger in Indiana was to steer clear of Gary, Indiana. Regrettably, this is no longer the situation.

While Gary continues to grapple with its own set of issues, it has been surpassed as the state’s most perilous location. Indiana has managed to distribute its challenges evenly across the state. RoadSnacks provides insights into the most dangerous places in Indiana for 2022.

Before delving into the specifics, it’s important to understand the methodology behind identifying Indiana’s most dangerous places: it’s all about the data. A total of 59 cities were scrutinized. The latest FBI crime report was consulted for violent crime and property crime statistics for every location with a population exceeding 5,000. The analysis revealed that while Indiana’s overall violent and property crime rates are above the national average, the figures in the state’s most dangerous places leave room for improvement. As one might predict, a significant portion of Hoosier State’s crime is concentrated in its largest cities. Cities such as Indianapolis and Evansville are grappling with high unemployment, low wages, and elevated crime rates.

Queries often arise regarding the purpose of compiling lists of the most dangerous places in each state. The primary reason is to inform the public about the areas that most individuals prefer to avoid, yet still desire to understand the underlying issues. These are the types of crimes that typically feature on Fort Wayne’s WANE at six or Lafayette’s Crimestoppers at ten.

Most crucially, it’s advised not to wander aimlessly in Indiana’s most dangerous areas; trust us, you might not escape unscathed. Instead, peruse the list of Indiana’s most dangerous places provided below. Some entries might catch you off guard.

The 10 Riskiest Places to Reside 

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1 Terre Haute 60,604 1,381 4,762
2 South Bend 102,119 1,728 3,663
3 Evansville 117,747 1,006 3,611
4 Indianapolis 890,672 870 3,569
5 Warsaw 15,319 874 3,263
6 Lafayette 72,040 594 3,051
7 Cumberland 6,097 278 4,231
8 New Albany 36,892 390 3,409
9 Bloomington 86,347 555 2,407
10 Boonville 6,200 774 2,016
  1. Terre Haute

Terre Haute, nestled along the Wabash River and east of the Illinois border, may appear tranquil from the outside. However, despite hosting the Indiana State University and the Swope Art Museum, it tops the list as Indiana’s most dangerous city, with high incidences of burglaries, arsons, and vehicle thefts.

  • Population: 60,604
  • Rank Last Year: –
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,381 (Second highest)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,762 (Highest)
  1. South Bend

South Bend, known for the University of Notre Dame and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, ranks as the second most perilous place in Indiana. It has a notable burglary rate and a significant count of car thefts. Moreover, it holds the record for the highest rate of violent crimes in the state.

  • Population: 102,119
  • Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,728 (Highest)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,663 (Fourth highest)
  1. Evansville

  • Evansville, the third-largest city in Indiana, also referred to as “Pocket City,” recorded a substantial number of larceny cases in 2020. Additionally, it had the third-highest rate of rape incidents in the state.
  • Population: 117,747
  • Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,006 (Third highest)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,611 (Fifth highest)
  1. Indianapolis

Indianapolis, the most populous city in Indiana, experiences the highest frequency of robberies in the state and a significant number of homicides each year.

One of the most horrific crimes in Indianapolis’s history is the murder of Ann Ott in 1971. The case remains unsolved, but it shook the city to its core. Ann, a beloved community member, was found dead in her home, and despite extensive investigations, the perpetrator was never found. This case is a stark reminder of the city’s struggle with violent crime.

  • Population: 890,672
  • Rank Last Year: –
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 870 (Fifth highest)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,569 (Sixth highest)
  1. Warsaw

Warsaw, the sole city within Kosciusko County, is the fifth most hazardous area in Indiana, with a high occurrence of violent crimes.

Warsaw, a city in and the county seat of Kosciusko County, Indiana, United States, has a population of 15,319. Despite its small size, it has a high crime rate, with 874 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, making it the fourth highest in the state. Property crimes are also common, with 3,263 incidents per 100,000 residents, ranking it eighth highest in Indiana. The city’s authorities are continuously working on strategies to reduce these numbers and ensure the safety of its residents.

  • Population: 15,319
  • Rank Last Year: –
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 874 (Fourth highest)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,263 (Eighth highest)
  1. Lafayette

Lafayette, the eighth-largest city in Indiana and home to Purdue University, ranks as the sixth most dangerous city. It has above-average rates of both property and violent crimes, including the third-highest burglary rate in the state.

  • Population: 72,040
  • Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 594 (Ninth highest)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,051 (Ninth highest)
  1. Cumberland

Cumberland, situated on the outskirts of the Indianapolis metropolitan area, ranks as the seventh most dangerous spot in Indiana. While violent crimes are relatively low, the city has a high rate of property crimes, including the second-highest rate of larcenies in the state.

In Cumberland, one of the most shocking crimes was the murder of a 19-year-old man in 2023. The Cumberland Police Department launched a homicide investigation into the death of the young man, whose body was found in a residential area. The case was particularly disturbing due to the victim’s young age and the violence involved.

  • Population: 6,097
  • Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 11)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 278 (18th highest)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,231 (Second highest)
  1. New Albany

New Albany, a suburb of Louisville, Kentucky, ranks as the eighth most dangerous location in Indiana. Despite its proximity to cultural and natural attractions, it has high rates of property crime, including a significant number of car thefts and larcenies.

In New Albany, one of the most notorious crimes was the poisoning of Captain John Box in the late 19th century. Captain Box, a steamboat captain during the Civil War, was poisoned in his home, leading to his death. The case was filled with intrigue and suspicion, with the main suspect being Moses Box, a relative who lived with the family. Despite the circumstantial evidence pointing to Moses, he was acquitted of the murder charges, and the true cause of the poisoning remains a mystery to this day.

  • Population: 36,892
  • Rank Last Year: –
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 390 (13th highest)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,409 (Seventh highest)
  1. Bloomington

Bloomington, situated over an hour southwest of Indianapolis and home to Indiana University, has a population largely comprised of students. However, the city’s crime rate extends beyond typical college mischief, with a significant number of serious crimes reported annually.

  • Population: 86,347
  • Rank Last Year: –
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 555 (Tenth highest)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,407 (14th highest)
  1. Boonville

Despite its name, which suggests a beneficial place, Boonville ranks as the tenth most dangerous location in Indiana. This is primarily due to a high rate of violent crimes in a population of just 6,200.

  • Population: 6,200
  • Rank Last Year: –
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 774 (Sixth highest)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,016 (21st highest)

Most Horrible Crime Ever In Indiana

As for the most horrific crime ever happened in Indiana, it would be the Burger Chef murders in 1978. Four young employees went missing in what was initially thought to be a petty theft of cash from the restaurant.

However, their bodies were found two days later in a remote spot in Johnson County. The case remains unsolved, and it’s considered one of Indiana’s most infamous cold cases.

Travel Safety Guidelines

  1. Maintain vigilance in populous cities like Indianapolis. Particularly in deteriorated urban areas, it’s crucial to stay alert.

Avoiding these neighborhoods unless absolutely necessary is the simplest way to steer clear of potential dangers.

  1. Familiarize yourself with your destination before departure. Numerous online resources offer current information about your intended destination in this digital era.

Ensure you check the weather forecast for your route and final destination.

  1. Avoid appearing as a tourist. To prevent becoming a victim of scams or theft, it’s best not to appear as a tourist or an easy mark.

That is, avoid displaying cash or expensive items and walk with confidence as if you’re familiar with your surroundings.

  1. Practice defensive driving. This is always good advice, but it’s particularly relevant when navigating unfamiliar places.

City drivers can be impatient, so adhere to all traffic signs – including speed limits.

  1. Consider investing in travel insurance before embarking on your Indiana journey. Insurance provides compensation to the policyholder if the vacation is affected by a cancellation, delay, or catastrophic event.

The true value of travel insurance becomes apparent when you’re traveling and need it – but opted against it before the trip.

FAQ

What are some notorious crimes that have occurred?

Some of the most notorious crimes in Indiana include the Burger Chef murders in 1978, the murder of Ann Ott in Indianapolis in 1971, and the poisoning of Captain John Box in New Albany in the late 19th century.

What is the crime rate in Indiana?

While the overall crime rate in Indiana is above the national average, it varies significantly across different cities and regions. Larger cities like Indianapolis and Evansville tend to have higher crime rates due to factors like high unemployment and low wages.

What measures are being taken to reduce crime?

Various measures are being taken to reduce crime in Indiana. These include increased police presence in high-crime areas, community outreach programs, and initiatives to address underlying issues such as poverty and lack of education.

Is it safe to travel to Indiana?

While there are areas in Indiana with high crime rates, it is generally safe to travel to the state with the right precautions. It’s important to stay informed about the areas you plan to visit and take measures to protect yourself, such as avoiding risky areas and securing your belongings.

What are some attractions?

Indiana is home to a variety of attractions, including the Indianapolis Zoo, the Indianapolis Speedway, and the Indiana State University. The state also offers a range of natural attractions, such as the Wabash River and the Illinois border.

What is the best time to visit?

The best time to visit Indiana is during the fall season, from mid-August to October. The summer is also a popular time to visit but can be subject to unpredictable and frequent rain showers.

What is the highest point in Indiana?

The highest point in Indiana is Hoosier Hill, standing at 1,257 feet above sea level. It is situated in Wayne County, primarily surrounded by farmland.

What are some of the most horrific crimes that have occurred in Indiana?

Some of the most horrific crimes in Indiana include the Burger Chef murders in 1978, where four young employees were killed, and the unsolved murder of Ann Ott in Indianapolis in 1971. In New Albany, the late 19th-century poisoning of Captain John Box remains a notorious crime.

Conclusion

Indiana, like any other state, has its share of crime, with certain cities experiencing higher rates of violent and property crimes. However, with the right precautions and awareness, it is possible to navigate these areas safely. The state also offers a variety of attractions and experiences that make it a worthwhile destination. As always, it’s important to stay informed and take necessary precautions when traveling.

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