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10 Most Dangerous Cities In Oklahoma 2024: The Danger Within

most dangerous cities in oklahoma

The situation is far from ‘peachy’ in the state of Oklahoma, as demonstrated by RoadSnacks’ list of the most perilous locations in the Sooner State.

We’re not referring to the type of troubles that might inspire melancholic tunes for Ada’s local hero, Blake Shelton. We’re talking about genuine threats that position the state as the tenth most hazardous in the nation. The details start with the state’s riskiest cities. Indeed, this state that’s often flown over does have a considerable number of precarious areas, known for high crime rates. Thus, if you’re contemplating a move to the tornado belt, we’d advise you to examine RoadSnacks’ list of the most dangerous places in Oklahoma for 2024.

What was our motivation? We aimed to inform the public about how to maneuver around places they might not want to visit, but still desire to hear the chatter. It’s the kind of information Oklahomans might catch on Norman’s News 9 at six or on Lawton’s crime watch at ten.

What was our method? We relied on the data. Altogether, we evaluated 73 cities. We examined the FBI’s most recent crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every location with over 5,000 inhabitants.

We found that Arkansas’ rates of violent and property crime are more frightful than the most dangerous place in Oklahoma, and sadly, these figures continue to impact many of Arkansas’ largest cities. Cities like Tulsa and Muskogee can’t seem to find relief.

If you’re residing in Piedmont, the safest city in Oklahoma, continue enjoying your peaceful existence; however, if you’re not, we recommend you review the list below. You might encounter some unexpected entries.

Riskiest Cities In 2024

City Population Violent Crimes per 100k Property Crimes per 100k Rank
Tulsa 402,166 1,132 5,111 1
Idabel 6,827 952 6,386 2
Anadarko 6,473 926 5,020 3
Ardmore 24,718 869 4,543 4
Ponca City 23,484 770 4,415 5
Hugo 5,067 611 4,637 6
Pauls Valley 6,111 687 4,401 7
Del City 21,750 993 3,641 8
Muskogee 36,884 1,209 3,500 9
Oklahoma City 663,661 725 3,895 10

10. Oklahoma City

Despite a slight decrease in crime rates over the past year, Oklahoma City still features on this list because other cities in the state have shown faster improvement.

The city’s residents must contend with the ninth highest violent crime rate in the state, including more than one murder per week and more than one rape per day. The city also reported an average of more than ten car thefts per day, totaling 25,853 property crimes in the year.

Nonetheless, as Oklahoma’s largest city, it has both safe and unsafe areas. Sticking to the safer neighborhoods in Oklahoma City can help residents avoid crime.

  • Population: 663,661
  • Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 725 (Ninth most dangerous)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,895 (13th most dangerous) 

9. Muskogee

Muskogee

Despite having attractions like a castle and a submarine, Muskogee hasn’t been successful in preventing crime. It ranks as the most violent place in Oklahoma, with residents facing a 1 in 82 chance of falling victim to a violent crime in 2020. Furthermore, it ranks ninth in the state for reported rapes.

Moreover, Muskogee reported an average of one burglary per day throughout 2020. Therefore, safety in Muskogee is a major concern.

  • Population: 36,884
  • Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,209 (Most dangerous)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,500 (21st most dangerous) 

8. Del City

Del City Oklahoma

Del City is absent from the list of Oklahoma City’s best suburbs, and its high crime rate is a significant factor in this omission.

Del City has the third highest violent crime rate in the state. Residents faced a 1 in 100 chance of being a victim of violent crime in 2020. Add to this the fact that the city reported 792 property crimes that year, and you have a situation that undoubtedly keeps the Del City Police Department on its toes.

  • Population: 21,750
  • Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 5)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 993 (Third most dangerous)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,641 (16th most dangerous) 

7. Pauls Valley

Pauls Valley, OK

An hour’s drive south of Oklahoma City takes you to Pauls Valley, the seventh most unsafe place in Oklahoma. The town reported the second highest number of burglaries in the state and an average of one property crime per day – an alarming rate for a city of only 6,111.

Let’s hope that the local Toy and Action Figure Museum is well-secured against any grand heist schemes by criminal collectives. On a brighter note, while Pauls Valley ranks eighth in property crime, it is the least violent place on this list.

In Pauls Valley, the most horrific crime was the murder of Chanda Turner in 2000. Initially ruled a suicide, her parents fought for over a decade to have her cause of death changed. In 2013, after exhuming her body and performing a second autopsy, her death was reclassified as a homicide. The case remains unsolved.

  • Population: 6,111
  • Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 687 (11th most dangerous)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,401 (Eighth most dangerous)

6. Hugo

Hugo has an interesting past – it was once the winter home for about 20 traveling circuses. Although a charming piece of trivia, the town has unfortunately developed a different reputation in recent years. It is now the sixth most dangerous place in Oklahoma. High rates of arson and larceny are a cause for concern for Hugo’s residents.

  • Population: 5,067
  • Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 7)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 611 (14th most dangerous)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,637 (Fourth most dangerous) 

5. Ponca City

Ponca City Ok

Located in north-central Oklahoma, Ponca City was a flourishing oil town at one point. The first oil lease, signed in the early 1910s, catalyzed an economic boom, expanding the population tenfold over fifty years.

However, that growth has now stagnated. The city’s current population of 23,484 is less than what it was in 1970. Meanwhile, crime has escalated considerably, with high instances of robberies and burglaries.

  • Population: 23,484
  • Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 6)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 770 (Eighth most dangerous)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,415 (Seventh most dangerous)

In Ponca City, the murder of Tracey Neilson on her 21st birthday in 1981 stands out as a particularly horrific crime. Tracey was found stabbed to death in her apartment, and despite extensive investigations and a $100,000 reward offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer, the case remains unsolved.

4. Ardmore

Ardmore’s crime rates have surged since last year, resulting in its rise to the fourth position in 2024. Both violent and property crimes have seen an increase, which is concerning.

Ardmore now suffers the sixth highest violent crime rate in Oklahoma due to these increases, with about four violent crimes per week – the majority being aggravated assaults.

So, if you’re planning a hike at Lake Murray State Park, it would be wise to bring a companion to avoid potential risks.

In Ardmore, one of the most horrific crimes was the murder of Denice Haraway in 1984. This case was infamous due to the wrongful conviction of two men, Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot, who were sentenced to life imprisonment based on their coerced confessions. The real killer was never found, and the case was featured in John Grisham’s book “The Innocent Man” and a Netflix documentary of the same name.

  • Population: 24,718
  • Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 869 (Sixth most dangerous)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,543 (Fifth most dangerous)

3. Anadarko

Anadarko’s name, ironically, was an accident. It was supposed to be named after the Nadaco tribe of Native Americans but a clerical error in establishing its first post office added an “A” to the beginning.

Despite its historical hiccup, this central Oklahoma community, located about 50 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, has far more serious issues to contend with – notably its ranking as the third most dangerous place in the state. High rates of larceny and burglary, coupled with a worrying rate of violent crimes, plague this town.

  • Population: 6,473
  • Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 11)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 926 (Fifth most dangerous)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,020 (Third most dangerous)

2. Idabel

Idabel oklahoma

Unlike most American cities, crime rates in Idabel are on an upward trend. A rise in both violent and property crime has been observed in recent years.

Idabel, having the highest property crime rate in Oklahoma, presented residents with a 1 in 15 chance of being victims of theft or damage in 2020. In fact, Idabel’s property crime rate is so high that it tops the overall crime rate for the state.

Even though Idabel is ranked fourth in terms of violence, the situation is grimmer than it seems – Idabel has the fourth highest rape and the highest murder rates statewide. Therefore, it’s advisable to get home early if you’re visiting Little River National Wildlife Refuge.

  • Population: 6,827
  • Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 952 (Fourth most dangerous)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,386 (Most dangerous) 

1. Tulsa

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa, the second-largest city and a cultural hub in northeastern Oklahoma, has been ranked the most precarious place to reside in Oklahoma for 2024. In 2020, Tulsa recorded 72 murders, giving it the second highest violent crime rate in the state.

The probability of being a victim of robbery, rape, assault, or murder was 1 in 88 for residents. Especially in the worst neighborhoods of Tulsa, this serves as a compelling reason to keep company.

Tulsa also suffers from significant property crime, with burglaries being notably high – a total of 4,407 cases were reported in 2020, which marks the eighth highest burglary rate statewide. Hopefully, sufficient security measures are in place at the Philbrook Museum of Art to deter potential thieves.

  • Population: 402,166
  • Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,132 (Second most dangerous)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,111 (Second most dangerous) 

Most Horrific Crime Ever in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma City Bombing (1995)

The Oklahoma City bombing remains the most horrific crime ever committed in Oklahoma. The bombing resulted in the deaths of 168 people, including 19 children, and injured more than 500 others. It was the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history until the attacks of September 11, 2001. The bombing shocked the nation and led to extensive changes in U.S. security and law enforcement procedures.

Essential Safety Guidelines for Visiting Oklahoma

  1. Minimize Cash Handling In cities like Oklahoma City, a common scam involves individuals posing as college students in need of cash to get home. They often target tourists with their convincing stories. To avoid falling for such scams, it’s best to inform them upfront that you don’t carry cash.
  2. Secure Your Vehicle When visiting outdoor attractions, ensure your vehicle is always locked, even if you’re just stepping out for a moment. Thieves often lurk around tourist spots, waiting for an opportunity to steal from unlocked vehicles. Using a car alarm can provide an additional layer of security.
  3. Stay Alert While Driving If you notice a car following you for an extended period, it could be a potential threat. Such criminals often wait for you to stop for gas, a time when vehicles are frequently left unlocked. Always lock your vehicle and keep an eye on it when you’re at the gas station.
  4. Leave Valuables Behind To avoid attracting unwanted attention, it’s best to leave expensive accessories at home. If you must carry valuable items, try to keep them concealed. Remember, if potential thieves can’t see what you have, you’re less likely to become a target.
  5. Keep Someone Informed Ensure someone back home is aware of your whereabouts at all times. This is crucial whether you’re traveling alone or with family. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, let the person know you’re on the phone with a friend. Even pretending to make a call can deter potential threats.

FAQ

Why is Tulsa considered the most dangerous city in Oklahoma?

Tulsa is considered the most dangerous city in Oklahoma due to its high rates of violent and property crimes. In 2020, Tulsa recorded 72 murders, making it the city with the second-highest violent crime rate in the state. The probability of being a victim of robbery, rape, assault, or murder was 1 in 88 for residents.

What is the crime rate in Oklahoma?

As per NeighborhoodScout, the violent crime rate in Oklahoma is 4.42 per 1,000 residents, and the property crime rate is 26.01 per 1,000 residents. This means that the chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime in Oklahoma are 1 in 226, and the chances of becoming a victim of a property crime are 1 in 38.

What are some safety tips for residents and visitors?

Some safety tips include minimizing cash handling, securing your vehicle, staying alert while driving, leaving valuables behind, and keeping someone informed of your whereabouts. It’s also recommended to avoid less populated areas, especially at night, and to stay alert to your surroundings.

What is the most horrific crime ever committed in Oklahoma?

The most horrific crime ever committed in Oklahoma is the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. The bombing resulted in the deaths of 168 people, including 19 children, and injured more than 500 others. It was the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history until the attacks of September 11, 2001.

What is being done to reduce crime?

Various measures are being taken to reduce crime in Oklahoma. These include increased police presence in high-crime areas, community outreach programs, and initiatives to address underlying issues such as poverty and education. However, crime rates vary significantly from city to city, and addressing these issues requires a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach.

How does crime in Oklahoma compare to other states?

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, Oklahoma’s crime rates are higher than the national average. The state has particularly high rates of property crime, including burglary and motor vehicle theft. However, crime rates can vary significantly from one city or region to another.

What are some resources for staying informed about crime?

Resources for staying informed about crime in Oklahoma include local news outlets, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI), and online databases like NeighborhoodScout. These resources provide up-to-date information about crime rates, trends, and safety tips.

Are there any safe cities in Oklahoma?

Yes, there are safe cities in Oklahoma. According to RoadSnacks, Piedmont is the safest city in Oklahoma. However, safety can vary within cities, and even neighborhoods within the same city can have different crime rates. It’s always a good idea to research and understand the safety of the specific area you plan to visit or move to.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while Oklahoma has its share of challenges with crime, particularly in cities like Tulsa, Idabel, and Anadarko, it’s important to remember that crime rates can vary significantly within the state. There are safe areas, like Piedmont, and many initiatives are underway to address crime and improve safety.

Staying informed about local crime trends and taking appropriate safety precautions can help residents and visitors alike navigate the Sooner State more confidently and securely.

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