No. 1 but not so proud: Modesto tops nation in car thefts

MODESTO, Calif. — Modesto is No. 1 in auto thefts . . . again.

For the second straight year, the area is the country's hottest spot for stolen vehicles, according to a report released today by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

The number and rate of car thefts in Modesto's "Metropolitan Statistical Area," translated to be Stanislaus County, actually dropped about 20 percent, continuing a trend seen nationwide.

Still, the improvement wasn't enough to eliminate the title it's held in five of the last six years. The only aberration was in 2007, when it ranked fifth.

Also among the top 10 were these Californoa cities: No. 5 Bakersfield, No. 6 Stockton, No. 9 San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont and No. 10 Fresno.