The Top 10 Car Theft Hot Spots: Where does your city rank?
Have you ever wondered whether you live in a city or town with a high rate of vehicle theft? A new study by the National Insurance Crime Bureau has just tabulated the top 10 high car theft locations in the U.S. The report, which is based on 2011 statistics, indicates that overall vehicle theft was down 3.3 percent compared to 2010. Although theft decreased overall in the U.S., four of the top 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) recorded more thefts in 2011 (+925 collectively). The remaining six locations posted a decrease in thefts (-2,017 collectively).
The study, titled “NICB Hot Spots for Vehicle Theft,” reflects car thefts on per capita basis. This is important to note because locations with smaller populations and a fair amount of thefts may have a higher theft rate than a larger city, which has a bigger population to absorb a similar number of thefts.
Here are the Top 10 NICB Hot Spots for Vehicle Theft:
1. Fresno, Calif. – For the second year in a row, Fresno tops NICB’s list of vehicle theft hot spots. Fresno reported a total of 7,621 vehicle thefts in 2011, up from 7,559 in 2010. Despite Fresno’s first place finish the past two years, the city was actually fifth on the NICB list in 2009.
2. Modesto, Calif. – The runner up on the list, Modesto experienced a decrease in vehicle thefts (3,315) compared to 2010 (3,712). A true model of consistency, this is Modesto’s third second place finish in as many years. Modesto did, however, lead the nation in thefts in 2008.
3. Bakersfield-Delano, Calif. – Like Modesto, Bakersfield-Delano finished in the same spot for its third straight year in a row. Luckily for Bakersfield-Delano residents, vehicle thefts decreased for the third year in a row. Last year, 5,240 vehicle thefts were reported, down from 5,623 in 2010.
4. Spokane, Wash. – The first non-California location, Spokane remained in fourth place, but enjoyed a slight dip in thefts from 2,763 in 2010 to 2,614 last year. Although Spokane currently ranks in the top 5, it was 18th place in 2009 and 35th in 2008.
5. Yakima, Wash. – Up five spots, Yakima reported 1,308 car thefts last year compared to 1,266 in 2010. The fifth place finish is actually an improvement compared to 2008 when the city was third in vehicle thefts.
6. San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, Calif. – Up nearly 1,000 thefts from 2010, the San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont MSA endured 23,223 vehicle thefts in 2011. The high figure is still much less than 2009’s 26,374 thefts.
7. Stockton, Calif. – For the second straight year, Stockton ranks 7th on NICB’s annual list. The fourth-largest city in the Central Valley of California, Stockton reported 3,532 vehicle thefts in 2011, compared to 3,779 one year prior.
8. Anderson, S.C. – Absent from 2010’s list, Anderson enters this year’s rankings due to its 911 vehicle thefts in 2011, which was a dramatic increase from the 696 thefts reported in 2010. Overall, Anderson jumped 25 spots in just one year.
9. Vellejo-Fairfield, Calif. – One state that actually performed better in 2011 was Vellejo-Fairfield, which improved four places. Vellejo-Fairfield reported 2,002 vehicle thefts in 2011, versus 2,392 in 2010.
10. Visalia-Porterville, Calif. – Finally, and not surprisingly, one more California city. Remaining in the top 10 for its third successive year is Vellejo-Fairfield. The city reported 2,124 vehicle thefts left year, slightly less than the 2,409 thefts it experienced in 2010.