Central Valley

Modesto No. 1 again in auto thefts

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 No. 5 Bakersfield, No. 6 Stockton, No. 9 San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont and No. 10 Fresno. Merced was 47th, improving 14 spots from its No. 33 ranking from last year.

For more on the story, check back later at modbee.com or read Tuesday's Bee.

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