If you don’t want your car to get stolen, avoid California.
For at least another year, the Golden State remains the most popular place for car thieves, with cities in California home to seven of the top 10 areas for car thefts in 2014.
The report comes from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and is part of the annual “Hot Spots” report. Of course, California has a larger population than most states in the U.S., and that naturally just means there’s more cars to steal. Last year’s top city was Bakersfield, California and this year it has been replaced by the San Francisco, Oakland and Hayward area.
It’s not all just big cities on the top 10 list either, with NICB noting that areas with smaller populations and a “moderate number of thefts” often have a higher rate of vehicles stolen. Last year, there were 633.3 thefts per 100,000 people in the San Francisco – Oakland – Hayward area, with a total of 29,093 stolen cars. It’s worth noting that the report is a population-based survey, so it goes off of theft rate based on population.
- 10. San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara, California
- 9. Fresno, California
- 8. Seattle – Tacoma – Bellevue, Washington
- 7. Vallejo – Fairfield, California
- 6. Spokane – Spokane Valley, Washington
- 5. Modesto, California
- 4. Odessa, Texas
- 3. Stockton – Lodi, California
- 2. Bakersfield, California
- 1. San Francisco – Oakland – Hayward, California
“Although vehicle thefts are down dramatically around the nation, the reasons they are stolen remain the same,” the organization said. “Older vehicles are stolen primarily for their parts value while newer, high-end vehicles often are shipped overseas or, after some disguising, sold to an innocent buyer locally.”