“If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Places Where Your Car Is Likely to Get Stolen

If you are from Modesto, San Diego or San Francisco, you better think twice about parking your car where no one can keep tabs on it. Statistics show that these cities are where car thieves are most active. No car is safe, really. If you leave it somewhere long enough, someone is bound to take it. However, recent data points out that in Western states, people’s cars get stolen all the time. Maybe there are more car thieves there, or there is the same amount of thieves but they are just better at their trade. Nevertheless, I’d never take my chances when I’m there. It’s either I’ll put a wheel boot on my car or I’ll park it near a police station. I found this interesting tidbit in an article in The Auto Channel, and I deemed it prudent to post this information here so you can be warned.
Washington DC April 22, 2008; The AIADA newsletter reported that according to a report issued by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), Modesto, Calif. tops the charts for the highest rate of auto theft per capita in 2007.

Preliminary FBI crime data signals that nationally vehicle thefts dropped 7.4 percent in 2007 - marking the fourth consecutive year of declining vehicle thefts. Western states continue to take the top spots when it comes to auto theft rates, according to CNN.

In 2007, four out of the top 10 metro areas with the highest vehicle theft rates were in California. The final number of thefts for 2007 has not been released yet, but in 2006 Californians lost 242,693 cars. Texans, which came in a distant second for stolen cars, lost 95,429 cars.

Most of the cities that are seeing high theft rates are near the nation's border with Mexico, a fact that can make it tricky for authorities to recover the vehicles. "Once it is Mexico or Canada, then you are dealing with another country and you can't go in there and route around," said Frank Scafidi, spokesman for NICB.

Top 10 metro areas by per capita auto theft rate for 2007

1. Modesto, Calif.
2. Las Vegas/Paradise, Nev.
3. San Diego/Carlsbad/San Marcos, Calif.
4. Stockton, Calif.
5. San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, Calif.
6. Laredo, Texas
7. Albuquerque, N.M.
8. Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, Ariz.
9. Yakima, Wash.
10. Tucson, Ariz.

NCIB April 22, 2008
I would like to comment that although your city’s name is not on the list, it does not mean that you are safe against car thieves. Your car may not be as flashy or expensive as others, but after chop shops are done with it they can sell individual parts for double or triple the price. In fact a whole car, when stripped, will cost more than its msrp when everything is sold. And that is not only speculation. That is fact. It is for this reason why most thieves will steal whatever they can get their hands on. And just because you have an old model car does not mean you are safe against people who prefer new ones. Old model cars are easier to steal simply because it has obsolete alarm systems, and its locks are easy to pick. Give someone 30 seconds with it, and they’ll be off before you notice it.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t drive your car any longer because it’ll just get stolen. There are precautions that you can take so that scenario can be avoided. Maybe in my next post I’ll write something about that. As for now, be contented with parking your car in secure locations. And if possible, park it where you and other people can see it.