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Top 10 cities for stolen cars

The National Insurance Crime Bureau released its annual list of cities with the most stolen cars, and the West Coast has the dubious honor of beating out all other regions of the country.

Fresno sign
Fresno has the dubious honor of being the best little city for grand theft auto. Great Valley Center/Flickr, Creative Commons

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released its annual list of cities with the most car thefts, and Fresno, Calif., tops the list. In fact, eight cities in the top 10 are in California, with the remaining two in Washington state.

Right behind Fresno are two other Central Valley cities, Modesto and Bakersfield. Sacramento, Stockton, and an area including San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont also make the list. Spokane, Wash., comes in at No. 4. Surprisingly, Los Angeles is all the way down at 23.

Here are the top 10 cities for car theft in 2010:

  1. Fresno, Calif.

  2. Modesto, Calif.

  3. Bakersfield-Delano, Calif.

  4. Spokane, Wash.

  5. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.

  6. Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, Calif.

  7. Stockton, Calif.

  8. Visalia-Porterville, Calif.

  9. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif.

  10. Yakima, Wash.

The NICB calculated rates of car theft per capita to come up with the list. The bureau relied on statistical areas as defined by the U.S. Census, which combines some cities into larger areas. The entire list of 366 cities and statistical areas can be read on the NICB site.

The city with the least car thefts was State College, Penn.

Driving a Cadillac Escalade into Fresno would certainly be asking for trouble, as that model topped the list of most stolen cars in the U.S., according to a report by the Highway Loss Data Institute.

The NICB's list does not indicate how long the cars stay stolen, as GPS is enabling a number of stolen vehicle recovery systems.