San Francisco Area Earns Top Honors in NICB’s 2014 Hot Spots Theft Report

June 24, 2015

California’s San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the nation’s highest per capita vehicle theft rate in 2014, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) latest Hot Spots report.

NICB’s Hot Spots report examines vehicle theft data obtained from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) for each of the nation’s MSAs. MSAs are designated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and often include areas much larger than the cities for which they are named. For example, the Bakersfield, Calif., MSA includes all thefts within the entire county of Kern, not just the city of Bakersfield.

Moreover, as a population-based survey, an area with a much smaller population and a moderate number of thefts can—and often does—have a higher theft rate than an area with a much more significant vehicle theft problem and a larger population to absorb it.

For 2014, the 10 MSAs with the highest vehicle theft rates were:

2014 Rank City 2014 Thefts 2013 Rank 2013 Thefts
1. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. 29,093 4. 29,326
2. Bakersfield, Calif. 5,211 1. 6,267
3. Stockton-Lodi, Calif. 4,245 5. 4,245
4. Odessa, Texas 886 12. 764
5. Modesto, Calif. 3,047 3. 3,565
6. Spokane-Spokane Valley, Wash. 3,032 7. 3,205
7. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif. 2,414 8. 2,540
8. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. 20,268 13. 18,128
9. Fresno, Calif. 5,260 2. 6,750
10. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. 10,531 9. 10,925

Others, meanwhile, are still taken for the oldest of motivations—a “joyride” and when the thrill is gone, it is abandoned undamaged.

Source: NICB

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