Modesto’s number one, Sacramento is number five and San Diego is number eight on the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s list of top ten areas with the highest vehicle theft rate.
Spokesman Frank Scafidi says while some activity is attributed to organized rings, often the thefts are crimes of opportunity.
“When you’ve got a high recovery rate of cars being stolen, that tells you they’re not being sent to chop shops and torn apart for parts, somebody sees something in the car they know they can get rid of quickly.”
In all, seven California metro areas are on the list that’s based on 2004 statistics. California Highway Patrol officers say car owners can fight the problem with simple precautions—like locking the car or using devices that freeze the steering wheel.
The California Highway Patrol says thefts are often done in connection with other crimes—many of them drug-related.