The city where your car is most likely to be stolen is in California. In fact, the top three cities are in California, and of the top 10, six are in that state. So says a report by Forbes that compares the number of stolen cars per 100,000 population.

Using that ratio, Fresno, California, with 808 stolen cars per 100,000 people and a total of 7,621 stolen cars in 2011, ranks number one in the nation. In second place is Modesto; third is occupied by Bakersfield.

For fourth and fifth, we have to travel north to Spokane and Yakima Washington. The remaining cities are all in the Golden State except for Anderson, S.C. at number eight. With a population of about 27,000, Anderson (nickname: The Friendliest City in South Carolina) had 911 cars stolen in 2011, giving it a score of 483.32.

See the full list of cities below.
2011 thefts and rate per 100,000
  1. Fresno - 7,621 808.25
  2. Modesto - 3,315 639.32
  3. Bakersfield - 5,240 615.23
  4. Spokane, WA - 2,614 551.75
  5. Yakima, WA - 1,308 529.25
  6. San Francisco - 23,223 528.87
  7. Stockton, CA - 3,532 507.32
  8. Anderson, SC - 911 483.32
  9. Vallejo, CA - 2,002 480.71
  10. Visalia, CA - 2,125 472.78

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      well illegal aliens from mexico have to drive too guys. they can't just go out and buy a car.
        Alex Butti
        • 2 Years Ago
        Not having a SS they can't.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Alex Butti
          Wait, what? You don't need a SSN to buy a car. For that matter, you don't need one to get a driver's license either. At least, not in CA.
      Jay Goff
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow. If the author of the article knew anything about the geography of California he/she could have just flat out warned of a massive, inexplicably precise DANGER ZONE in which almost all of those California cities fall. It's called the I-5 CORRIDOR IN THE CENTRAL VALLEY. so DO NOT leave your car unattended on road trips!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jay Goff
        Given that five of the top ten cities in the country are on Interstate 99, I'd say you are a lot better off staying on the 5. Given too that these are five of the dreariest cities in California, unless you're stuck living there, there isn't much chance you'd be visiting.
          • 2 Years Ago
          I live in Visalia and I work in Santa Barbara. I would rather live in Visalia than anywhere else in this state.
        Jay Goff
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jay Goff
        or more specifically the 99 which parallels the 5 in the central valley. Stay ON the 99 and keep moving lol!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jay Goff
        Also known as the armpit or toilet of California.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I was in Vallejo last weekend for Six Flags, I'm not surprised it made it to the list. That place is ghetto as hell
      • 2 Years Ago
      These cities are in depressed interior parts Northern California and the Central Valley. Auto theft is not common in most of the dense urban areas and coastal areas of California.
        • 2 Years Ago
        I'm not sure I'd consider San Francisco a depressed interior part of Central California. I might even go as far as calling it a dense urban and costal area.
      • 2 Years Ago
      As I always said, California is a third world country and a very heavy burden on the USA economically, not to mention the BAD reputation it gives to the whole country.
        • 2 Years Ago
        CA is a DONOR state, you numbskull! That means it pays way more taxes than it gets back, to keep your red welfare states fed. It is also the 8th largest economy in the world... yah, heavy burden indeed.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Get it right: data was by MSA, not municipal population. So for Anderson it was for all of the about 187K in Anderson County. Anderson, BTW, has an urbanized area of over 81K, so it's not as quite Mayberry as it may look from the 27K in the city (it's really hard to annex in SC).
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is old news in the sense that the same cities make this list every year. The second risk factor, beyond geography, is which year/make/model car you have. Many cars are highly unlikely to be stolen in these hotbed cities. And some, well, you might as well leave the keys in the ignition. No matter where you live, the real question is: What is the theft rate, not per population, but per my year/make/model of car? If you ownd an Audi RS, and your neighbor owns a 2005 Civic, and you heard that in your area-- 10 RSs have been stolen, and 500 Civics have been stolen, then maybe 2% of Civics were stolen, while 60% of RSs were stolen. So which are you more worried about? It's not a function of human population, its a function of individual car populations. This, of course, is how the insurance companies look at it.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sounds about right
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Mission Valley section of San Diego was a car thief''s paradise in the late 80's. I knew one guy thaty had hisPorsche stolen three time in 12 months--gotta be a record of some sort.
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