If you live in California, you had better keep an eye on your car. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau's (NICB) annual vehicle theft report, eight of the country's top ten "hot spots" for stolen cars are located in the Golden State.
The three metropolitan areas with the highest rates of vehicle theft in 2011 are again on the podium in 2012, however, the top two have shuffled around. Modesto, Calif. went from second to first, while Fresno, Calif. dropped from first to second. Bakersfield-Delano, Calif. remains the third highest ranked in vehicle theft, while Stockton, Calif. jumped from seventh to fourth. Yakima, Wash. stayed steady in fifth. Redding, Calif. perhaps saw the most significant jump, as it went from the 40th highest ranked in vehicle theft to the 10th spot in 2012. Overall, the West region, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming saw a 10.6-percent increase compared to 2011.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the rate of vehicle theft fell in the Midwest, Northeast, and South regions by 3.1, 7.9, and 2.9 percent, respectively. The five metro areas with the lowest rates of automotive theft were Ithaca, N.Y.; Glens Falls, N.Y.; State College, Pa.; Midland, Mich.; and Kahului-Wailuki-Lahaina, Hawaii. The NICB's findings are in line with preliminary data from the FBI, which will be officially published this fall. That data estimates an overall rise in vehicle thefts of 1.3 percent compared to the previous year, ending an eight-year downward trend. Police are cracking down by planting bait cars, but also encourage owners to lock their doors and park in well-lit areas.
Did your city make the top 10 list? Check out the breakdown below.
1. Modesto, Calif.
2. Fresno, Calif.
3. Bakersfield-Delano, Calif.
4. Stockton, Calif.
5. Yakima, Wash.
6. San Francisco/Oakland/Hayward, Calif.
7. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
8. Vallego-Fairfield, Calif.
9. Spokane-Spokane Valley, Wash.
10. Redding, Calif.