If you live in Modesto, CA, lock your car -- even when it's in your garage -- because this city is number one in the country when it comes to car thefts, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. And Modesto isn't alone. Eight of the top 10 cities with the most thefts are in California, making it the vehicle theft capital of the country. The top 10 U.S. metropolitan areas for vehicle theft per capita:
  1. Modesto, California 
  2. Albuquerque, New Mexico 
  3. Bakersfield, California 
  4. Salinas, California 
  5. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California 
  6. Stockton-Lodi, California 
  7. Pueblo, Colorado 
  8. Merced, California 
  9. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California 
  10. Vallejo-Fairfield, California 

Although vehicle thefts are down dramatically around the nation, the reasons they are stolen remain the same:
  • Older vehicles are stolen primarily for their parts value. 
  • High-end vehicles often are shipped overseas. 
  • After some disguising, stolen vehicles can be sold to an innocent buyer locally. 
  • Others are taken for the oldest of motivations: a joyride. And when the thrill is gone, the vehicle is abandoned undamaged.


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