Central California’s Stanislaus County again is the hottest spot for stolen vehicles per capita in the U.S., says a National Insurance Crime Bureau report quoted by the Modesto Bee. “Everybody in my unit is disappointed,” said Sgt. Rick Gilstrap of the California Highway Patrol, who supervises the Stanislaus County Auto Theft Task Force.
The county had 5,358 cars stolen in 2007; Taking population into account, that was 1,048 automobiles stolen per 100,000 people. The Las Vegas area trailed just behind, with 1,036 stolen vehicles per 100,000 people. That translated into more than 19,000 thefts in 2007. Of the 20 areas most targeted by car thieves last year, 11 were in California. Experts say the methamphetamine problem fuels the car theft problem.