man breaking into car and stealing a purse

Areas with the Highest Auto Theft Rates

Eight of the Top-10 are in California

In its annual Hot Spots Report, the National Insurance Crime Bureau lists the metropolitan areas with the highest auto theft rates – and eight of the top-ten are in California.¹

Modesto, Bakersfield, Salinas, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Stockton-Lodi, Vallejo-Fairfield, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Merced and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara along with Pueblo, CO and Albuquerque, NM constitute the top-ten with a combined 84,814 vehicles stolen in 2015.²

There were almost 700,000 auto thefts nationwide in 2013, with 176,745 occurring in California, the most for any state.³  California still leads the nation in automobile theft in 2015.

Regardless of where you live, it’s important to know what to do if your vehicle is stolen. Here are a few suggestions:

  • The best offense is a good defense. Consider purchasing comprehensive car insurance from Mercury, which covers your vehicle if it is damaged in anything other than a collision. This includes auto theft, vandalism, floods, hailstorms and fire damage.
  • Contact police immediately if your vehicle is stolen and file a report. The chances of recovering a stolen vehicle decreases as time passes.
  • Be sure to have the following information when filing a claim with your insurance carrier:
    • Policy number
    • When and where you last saw your car (date, time and location)
    • Year, make and model
    • Vehicle identification number
    • License plate number
    • Police report number
  • Be sure to list any additional valuables that were in your car at the time it was stolen.
  • Offer photos of your car, if possible, to the police and your claims adjuster.

For tips on how you can mitigate the risk of auto theft, click here.

¹ National Insurance Crime Bureau

² The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Motor Vehicle Theft

³ Los Angeles Times, California cities lead nation in per capita car theft