Modesto is one of the leading cities in the country for motor vehicle thefts. Officials say many cars are stolen by suspects who are free on bail.
So Stanislaus County Assistant District Attorney Carol Shipley convinced local judges to raise the bail for auto theft suspects.
"I asked them to increase it from ten thousand to forty thousand dollars since we do have such a problem with auto thefts in this area and they were inclined to do so."
Under the new guidelines, multiple offenders face a sixty thousand dollar bond.
Frank Scafidi of the National Insurance Crime Bureau called Shipley's action a "master stroke".
"We commend her for her action and this is going to have a real and immediate effect on auto thefts in Stanislaus County."
Shipley says she plans to lobby the state legislature to increase penalties for auto theft.
The police attribute the high rate of stolen cars in the valley to the production of methamphetamine.