The National Insurance Crime Bureau just released its annual car theft report and once again, the West Coast takes the lead in the highest rate of stolen cars. Modesto, California ranks as #1, followed by Stockton and Las Vegas. And here in Reno, the crime is also on the rise. Two years ago Reno ranked 59th in the country for car theft, now its coming in at 39, with close to 2,100 cars reported stolen in Washoe County last year.
Police say car thieves target the parking lots of shopping centers and apartment complexes and they're on the prowl for specific types of cars. The reveals the most popular cars to steal in the state of Nevada include the 1994 Honda Accord, 2000 Honda Civic, 1989 Toyota Camry, 1994 Saturn SL and the 1992 Nissan Sentra.
Experts say there are lots of things you can do to protect your car. Most of them are simple, like removing your keys from the ignition or from the inside of the car. Also, lock your doors and don't leave windows cracked. Police also say you should park in a well lit area and don't leave valuables - or anything that could be mistaken for something valuable - inside your car.
Besides these simple steps, insurance experts also recommend adding a second layer of protection to your car, like a car alarm or a steering wheel lock. Then there are "immobilizing devices," which prevent thieves from hot-wiring your car. That starter, ignition, and fuel pump. Some cars also come with tracking devices built in. Police say all this new technology is definitely slowing thieves down on certain types of cars.