Modesto metropolitan area had the highest per capita vehicle theft rate of 2015.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau has released its annual Hot Spots Vehicle Theft Report which reveals California drivers should be keep a close eye on their car.

According to data compiled by the agency, the Modesto metropolitan area had the highest per capita vehicle theft rate in the United States last year.  Other areas of California also ranked high on the list as Bakersfield came in third, Salinas came in fourth, and the San Francisco/Oakland/Hayward area ranked fifth.  California was also represented by Stockton/Lodi (6th), Merced (8th), Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario (9th), and Vallejo/Fairfield (10th).

The only two places outside of California to be ranked in the top ten areas for car theft were Albuquerque, New Mexico (2nd) and Pueblo, Colorado (7th).

Car thefts increased slightly last year but the agency notes "vehicle thefts are down dramatically around the nation over the last several years."  Older vehicles are normally stolen for parts, while newer, high-end vehicles are often shipped overseas or sold locally.

In order to minimize the chances of having your vehicle stole, the National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends drivers park in well-lit areas, keep windows closed, and make sure the vehicle is locked.  The agency also recommends having an alarm, an immobilizing device, and a tracking unit or telematics service such as OnStar.

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau via Autoguide

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