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]

Join the conversation
2 of 80 comments
  • 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.

  • SCE to AUX A question nobody asks is how Tesla sells so many EVs without charge-at-home incentives.Here are some options for you:[list][*]Tesla drivers don't charge at home; they just squat at Superchargers.[/*][*]Tesla drivers are rich, so they just pay for a $2000 charger installation with the loose change in their pocket.[/*][*]Tesla drivers don't actually drive their cars much; they plug into 110V and only manage about 32 miles/day.[/*][/list]
  • SCE to AUX "Despite the EV segment having enjoyed steady growth over the past several years, sales volumes have remained flatter through 2023."Not so. How can EV sales be increasing and flatter at the same time? and H/K/G are all up for EV sales, as are several other brands.
  • ToolGuy Here is an interesting graphic, if you're into that sort of thing.
  • ToolGuy Nice website you got there (even the glitches have glitches)
  • Namesakeone Actually, per the IIHS ratings, "Acceptable" is second best, not second worst. The ratings are "Good," "Acceptable," "Marginal" and "Poor."