California Car Thieves Still Doing Their Part to Encourage Walking

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
california car thieves still doing their part to encourage walking

Where is a parked car not a parked car? The answer is California, where your vehicle will magically transform into an empty spot with a scattering of window glass on the pavement.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) just released its 2015 vehicle theft Hot Spots report, and the Golden State gets top billing, with eight of its cities listed in the top 10.

Modesto, California takes the gold medal for car theft, with a per capita rate of 756 thefts per 100,000 people. Bakersfield, Salinas and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward also placed in the top five. The two non-California cities in the top 10 were Albuquerque, New Mexico (second place, with 733 thefts per 100,000) and Pueblo, Colorado (seventh place, up from 24th last year).

The other California hot spots were Stockton-Lodi, Merced, Riverside, San Bernadino-Ontario, and Vellejo-Fairfield. While the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area had the most total vehicle thefts (57,247), the area’s sizable population kept it out of the top 10 when the crimes were measured on a per capita basis.

If you’re looking for somewhere to live where the only dangers to your car are falling nuts, hail, rust and depreciation, head to Altoona, Pennsylvania. That city recorded a per capita rate of 30 thefts per 100,000 people. Next in line in the safe zone were New York cities Glen Falls, Watertown-Fort Drum, and Kingston. Harrisonburg, Virginia placed fifth safest with a rate of 32.79 thefts per 100,000.

According to FBI statistics, vehicle thefts rose one percent over the first half of 2015. The NICB recommends drivers use four layers of defense when parking their car, with the first layer being common sense — that’s the thing you use when you decide not to park the Civic under the overpass, next to the broken streetlight, with the windows rolled down and the keys in the ignition.

Don’t be that guy.

The other layers include warning, immobilizing and tracking devices, though the following anti-theft device can’t be condoned, nor is it supported by existing legislation:

[Image: jon collier/ Flickr]

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  • Sector 5 Sector 5 on Jun 14, 2016

    Victims learn the hard way or not at all.

  • Walleyeman57 Walleyeman57 on Jun 14, 2016

    I live in a rural area in SE MI. Our area is somewhat upscale compared to the rest of the county (Lenawee) due to a man made lake with nicer homes around it. We have been here for 25 years. Every 4-6 years we get a rash of smash and grab (or just open the unlocked door)thefts. I attribute it to teens out to grab what they can. They usually nab the perps eventually. As there is not much other crime, these thefts get attention from LEO. Things quiet down then starts back up when a new crop of opportunists reaches the right age. When I lived in the City of Detroit-no cops ever came out for auto B & E or thefts. For that matter, they did not come out for home B & E either. The only time I remember a quick response was when my boss started firing at a crack head trying to steal his car. They arrested my boss for discharge of a weapon in the city limits.

  • Jeff S I am not a fan of Tesla and they were niche vehicles but it seems that they have become more common. I doubt if I get an EV that it would be a Tesla. The electrical grid will have to be expanded because people over the long run are not going to accept the excuse of the grid can't handle people charging their EVs.
  • AMcA The '70 Continentals and Town Cars may have been cousins to the standard body Fords and Mercurys, they didn't have to be disguised, because they had unique, unbelievably huge bodies of their own. Looking at the new 1970 interior, I'd say it was also a cost savings in sewing the seat. Button tufted panels like the 1969 interior had require a lot of sewing and tufting work. The 1970 interior is mostly surface sewing on a single sheet of upholstery instead of laboriously assembled smaller pieces. FINALLY: do I remember correctly that the shag carpet shown under these cars was a Photoshop? They didn't really go so peak '70s as to photograph cars on shag carpets, did they?
  • Inside Looking Out Toyota makes mass market cars. Their statement means that EVs are not mass market yet. But then Tesla managed to make mass market car - Mode; 3. Where I live in CA there are more Tesla Model 3s on streets than Corollas.
  • Ltcmgm78 A lot of dirt must turn before there's an EV in every driveway. There must be a national infrastructure plan written by other than politicians chasing votes. There must be reliable batteries that hopefully aren't sourced from strategic rivals. There must be a way to charge a lot of EVs. Toyota is wisely holding their water. There is a danger in urging unplanned and hasty moves away from ICE vehicles. Do we want to listen to unending speeches every election cycle that we are closer than we have ever been to 100% electrification and that voting for certain folks will make it happen faster? Picture every car in your town suddenly becoming all electric and a third of them need a charge or the driver will be late for work. This will take a lot of time and money.
  • Kendahl One thing I've learned is that cars I buy for local errands tend to be taken on 1,000 mile trips, too. We have a 5-speed Focus SE that has gone on longer trips than I ever expected. It has served us well although, if I had it to do over again, I would have bought an ST. At the time of purchase, we didn't plan to move from 1,000 feet elevation to 6,500. The SE is still adequate but the ST's turbo and extra power would have been welcome.