NICB Finds California is Unsurprisingly and Overwhelmingly Where Your Car Will Get Stolen

By Jacob Brown | June 28, 2013
If you don't want your car to be stolen, perhaps it's best to stay away from hot commodities like 1990s Honda products. It's also best to stay away from California. The National Insurance Crime Bureau found that in 2012 FBI figures showed car thefts up 1.3 percent nationally. Unsurprisingly, on its top 10 lists of places where thefts were the highest, California metropolitan areas took eight of the spots. The 2012 list is:
  1. Modesto, California
  2. Fresno, California
  3. Bakersfield-Delano, California
  4. Stockton, California
  5. Yakima, Washington
  6. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California
  7. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
  8. Vallejo-Fairfield, California
  9. Spokane-Spokane Valley, Washington
  10. Redding, California
The NICB looked at thefts in a metropolitan area and compared them to the overall population. Even though the Los Angeles area, for instance, had more than 52,000 thefts in 2012 compared to Modesto's 4,260, it should be noted that the L.A. metro area is roughly 15 million people including parts of Orange County. As a result, the City of Angels ranked 23rd on the bureau's list.
L.A.'s number is also twice as much as the next-largest New York City's theft rate, but NYC ranks 220th. Attribute that to the fact that a good number of people don't own cars over there, and it's a lot denser. California has been a hotbed for car thefts since Day 1. Part of that can be attributed to weather that's always conducive to carjacking, a diverse car culture with a ton of cars that look like anything else on the road, and a spread-out geography that makes tracking a car in any number of big cities a tough ordeal. Add to that the number of people in need of parts for their cars and the shipping ports nearby, and it's evident why theft rates are what they are. As for Washington's car thefts? We'll go ahead and blame it on boredom. Other states with upticks are Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. Takeaway: Always lock your car, purchase and install safety systems and tracking devices in your car, and be prepared with what comes with the territory. Source: NICB