While the Bay Area prides itself on being the best at a lot of things, having the most proficient car thieves is probably not something any of us are too excited about on top of the fact that SF already tops the nation in per capita property crime and car break-ins. However, that is exactly where we find ourselves with the news that we are the number one spot for auto thefts in all of the United States. So reports CBS 5, which notes the National Insurance Crime Bureau tallied almost 90,000 vehicles stolen in the Bay Area from 2012 to 2014.
According to the Bureau, 2014 saw 29,093 auto thefts in the Bay Area alone. Ouch.
“On any day the hot sheet will probably have another 30-40 vehicles county wide that are added to it,” CHP investigator Mark Hinch told CBS. “The hot sheet is just the most recent vehicles, the last three or four days.”
Police apparently differentiate between different types of thefts, with some care stolen merely for quick "joy rides," others chopped up into parts for resale, and still others just straight up resold. “Just the sheer numbers,” observed Hinch. “So many cars are stolen and there are so many different cases you can work on.”
Hinch and other investigators often head to Oakland in search of the cars, as that is where many of them turn up. “Oakland is a hotspot for auto theft but it’s not necessarily where all the auto theft is happening,” Hinch noted. “But what has happened in the Oakland area is that a lot of the cars stolen from throughout the Bay Area end up in Oakland.”
According to the Alameda County Regional Auto Theft Task Force, certain cars are stolen more frequently than others — with the Honda Accord, the Honda Civic, and the Toyota Camry topping the list of the top ten most frequently stolen cars.
So what should you do if you find yourself the victim of a such a crime? Hinch says the best play is to look where stolen goods frequently turn up: Craigslist. "You are your own best detective."