For the second straight year, Fresno tops the National Insurance Crime Bureau list of top cities for vehicle theft.
California tops the list…
The NICB list states that approximately 761,500 vehicles were stolen in 2011, which was a drop from the year before by a mere 3 percent. These numbers are based on statistics released by the FBI. Fresno was at the top of the list and was not the only city in California to make the top ten. Modesto came in second and Bakersfield was in third, giving CA the top three spots this year. This is not the first time these three cities ranked high on this list. San Francisco, Stockton, Vallejo, and Visalia are also other California cities that are on the list for 2011.
Washington State and South Carolina in top ten
Spokane, Washington came in fourth on the list and a city nearby, Yakima, Washington, was placed at number five, moving up from being number 10 on the list in 2010. Up from 33rd on the list just a year ago is Anderson, South Carolina which climbed up the eighth spot on the NICB list for stolen vehicle activity.
Declines in Texas
At one time, the city of Laredo, Texas was consistently on the NICB list for hot spots for vehicle theft. Just a few years ago the city had the most number of thefts per-capita. However, due to increased police presence and attention to motor vehicle theft by citizens, the number of thefts in the city has fallen from 1,792 cars stolen three years ago to just 849 for the year 2011. This is a reduction of 53% in just a few years.
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“It’s phenomenal, something we’re very proud of,” said Laredo’s chief of police, Carlos Maldonado, when asked about the dramatic decline in vehicle thefts. “It’s certainly attributable to the very hard work of our auto theft detail, our unit and the community.”
Preventing car theft
The NICB suggests that drivers always remember to remove their keys from the vehicle when exiting. Leaving the keys in the ignition or under a seat is a recipe for disaster. Many vehicle thefts can be attributed to drivers thinking they are running into a store or a home for ‘just a moment.’ A moment can often turn into a longer time period, though it only takes that moment for a car to disappear. The NICB also recommends leaving doors locked at all times, parking in well-lit areas, and making sure all windows are up while vehicle is vacant.