Car Thieves Love California

By Jessica Greene
|  Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009  |  Updated 11:20 AM PDT
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Car Thieves Love California

Japanese cars are still the hottest for thieves, with Honda Accord and Civic leading the list of most stolen in the nation. Toyota, Acura and Nissan are also favorites for theives.

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California number one when it comes to vehicles -- for thieves, that is.

For the second year in a row, and the fifth of the last six years, Modesto is the top city in the country for vehicle thefts, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, with 829 stolen cars per 100,000 people.

Overall, thefts dropped nationwide from 2007 to 2008 -- but California dominates the list of favorite cities for auto thieves, with 6 of the top 10 spots.

“The good news is, we’re seeing steady progress in reducing the overall theft rate and that means Americans aren’t shelling out as much to cover the cost of stolen vehicles in their insurance premiums." Joe Wehrle, NICB president and chief executive officer said.

"We’ve also seen significant decreases in key areas along the border such as San Diego, where thefts dropped nearly 20 percent."

Vehicle thefts went up in Stockton from '07-'08 but in the Bay Area, they decreased. The San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont area ranked fifth in 2007 and dropped to ninth position for 2008.

The Vallejo/Fairfield area made the top 20 list at 18 and San Jose and Sunnyvale area ended up at number 40. The Sacramento area ranked high - at 14th on the list.

The list is:

  1. Modesto, CA                               
  2. Laredo, TX                             
  3. Yakima, WA 
  4. San Diego/Carlsbad/San Marcos, CA         
  5. Bakersfield, CA                           
  6. Stockton, CA                              
  7. Las Vegas/Paradise, NV                   
  8. Albuquerque, NM                           
  9. San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, CA         
  10. Fresno, CA     

The Vallejo/Fairfield area made the top 20 list at 18 and San Jose an Sunnyvale area ended up at number 40. Sacramento area ranked high - at 14th on the list.

Hondas are still a thief favorite, with Accord and Civic ranking one and two on the list.

California is also leading the way for motorcycle thefts.

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