Modesto, Calif., led the nation in car thefts in the latest annual study released Sunday by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The city had about 6,000 car thefts in 2003, or 1,346 thefts per 100,000 population. Six of the nation’s top 10 hot spots for car theft were in California.
For the third straight year, State College, Penn., was last among the nation’s 336 metropolitan statistical areas. That city reported just 53 car thefts in 2003, or 39 per 100,000 population. Modesto’s car theft rate was 35 times higher than that of State College. In declining order, the other top 10 cities were Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.; Stockton-Lodi, Calif.; Las Vegas, Sacramento, Fresno, Oakland, Miami, San Diego and Detroit. The National Insurance Crime Bureau, supported by insurance companies, compiles the annual survey based on data from the FBI. The link gives access to the study and a state-by-state listing of metropolitan statistical areas.