Car theft: Want your Honda Accord stolen? Take it to California

Modesto, California, city of 206,000 people, home to George Lucas Plaza, some of the country’s worst air quality and the quaintly named newspaper of record, the Modesto Bee, tops the list once again as America’s capital of car theft.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau has released its 2007 numbers of the 10 worst cities for car thefts, and the area surrounding Modesto, including the entire county of Stanislaus, beat out other so-called Metropolitan Statistical Areas like Las Vegas/Paradise, Nev. (2nd); San Diego/Carlsbad/San Marcos, Calif. (3rd); Stockton, Calif. (4th); and San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, Calif. (5th).

“The rate is determined by the number of vehicle theft offenses per 100,000 inhabitants using the 2007 census population estimates, the most current figures available,” the NICB says. Curiously, it doesn’t say how many cars were actually stolen in the cities it singles out for ignominy.

Odd that there is not one city east of the Mississippi on the NICB’s top 10 list, or for that matter one city east of Texas.

The rest of the top 10 cities for car thefts:

6. Laredo, Tex.
7. Albuquerque, N.M.
8. Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, Ariz.
9. Yakima, Wash.
10. Tuscson, Ariz.