California is the nation’s stolen car capital, according to an insurance industry report to be released Tuesday. Seven of the nation’s Top 10 metropolitan areas with the highest auto theft rates for 2004 are in California, reports USA Today. Five of those are in the Central Valley. The Modesto metropolitan area tops the list for the second year in a row, says the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a non-profit fraud investigation service funded by insurance companies.
The NICB analyzed data collected by the FBI for each of the nation’s 336 metropolitan statistical areas. Car theft dropped 2.6% nationally in 2004. The group found that the number of vehicle thefts per 100,000 people increased in the Stockton-Lodi area of California, moving it into second place in 2004 from third in 2003. Three other Central Valley communities dominate the NICB’s 2004 Top 10: Sacramento in fifth place; Visalia-Tulare-Porterville in seventh place, up from 15th place in 2003; and Fresno in ninth place. Elsewhere, Detroit dropped to 15th from 10th place, and Miami fell to 13th from 8th place in 2003.