California Cities Dominate Vehicle Theft List

Photo of the Modesto Arch via Wikimedia.
Photo of the Modesto Arch via Wikimedia.

Eight California cities have appeared on a nationally recognized list of U.S. metro areas with the highest vehicle theft rate per capita.

For 2015, Modesto ranked highest on the National Insurance Crime Bureau's Hot Spots vehicle theft report, followed by Albuquerque, New Mexico; Bakersfield, Calif.; Salinas, Calif.; and the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area in northern California.

The next five included Stockton-Lodi, Calif.; Pueblo, Colo.; Merced, Calif.; Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.; and Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif. California's Bay Area topped the list for 2014.

While the Los Angeles area typically registers the most vehicle thefts, the other areas have a higher rate of vehicle thefts because they have smaller populations. Modesto recorded 4,072 thefts in 2015. The area had a population of about 211,000 on July 1, 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The bureau is one of two insurance groups that collects vehicle theft data, along with the Highway Loss Data Institute. The NICB's report is typically more comprehensive because it covers all stolen vehicles reported by law enforcement agencies, including those that are not insured. The two groups release lists of the top stolen vehicles in the summer.

Read the bureau's full release here.

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