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The bad news for California drivers? Your state had the greatest number of hot spots in the country for auto thefts in 2011, according to a National Insurance Crime Bureau report released recently.

Fresno, Calif., was at the top of the list for the second year in a row. Modesto was second, also for the second straight year. Fresno and Modesto were among seven California metro areas that made the worst-10 rankings compiled by the NICB using federal, state and local crime statistics.

The NICB's "Hot Spots 2011" report uses vehicle theft data from the National Crime Information Center for each of the nation's metropolitan statistical areas. These areas are designated by the Office of Management and Budget and include areas much larger than the cities for which they are named. For example, the Fresno, Calif., metropolitan statistical area includes all thefts within the entire county of Fresno, not just the city of Fresno.



It wasn't all bad news in the annual report, though. The NICB says reported thefts fell nationwide for the second straight year, with preliminary FBI figures for 2011 showing a 3.3% drop from the 2010 total of 737,142.

Here's the full list, with the total number of stolen vehicles, thefts per 100,000 people and previous ranking:

  1. Fresno, Calif.: 7,621 total thefts, or 808 per 100,000 people (2010 ranking: 1)
  2. Modesto, Calif.: 3,315/639 per 100,000 (2)
  3. Bakersfield-Delano, Calif.: 5,240/615 per 100,000 (3)
  4. Spokane, Wash.: 2,614/552 per 100,000 (4)
  5. Yakima, Wash.: 1,308/529 per 100,000 (10)
  6. San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, Calif.: 23,223/529 per 100,000 (9)
  7. Stockton, Calif.: 3,532/507 per 100,000 (7)
  8. Anderson, S.C.: 911/483 per 100,000 (33)
  9. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.: 2,002/481 per 100,000 (5)
  10. Visalia-Porterville, Calif.: 2,124/473 per 100,000 (8)
Posted 7:48 PM

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