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Car thefts down, but not in Fresno

  |   June 20, 2012 at 3:47 PM
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DES PLAINES, Ill., June 20 (UPI) -- Car thefts continue to decline, an insurance industry group said Wednesday, but Fresno, Calif., retained its ranking as the No. 1 city for vehicle theft.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau, a non-profit organization of insurance companies based in Des Plaines, Ill., said in a statement that 2011 statistics indicate a continuing trend in the decline of car thefts in U.S. metropolitan areas, and said the FBI's preliminary crime statistics for 2011 note a 3.3 percent drop in vehicle thefts.

Contributing to the decline was the city of Laredo, Texas, which was No. 1 in the ranking of per capita thefts in 2009, but fell to No. 53 in 2011, a 53 percent drop in vehicle thefts, it said.

The NICB listed the 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas with the highest vehicle theft rate. It is led by Fresno, Calif.; followed by Modesto, Calif.; Bakersfield-Delano, Calif.; Spokane, Wash.; Yakima, Wash;, San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, Calif.; Stockton, Calif.; Anderson, S.C.; Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif., and Visalia-Porterville, Calif.

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