San Andreas, CA — Percentage wise, Calaveras County had the largest increase in vehicle thefts last year among California’s 58 counties.
Newly released statistics by the CHP show that Calaveras County had 94 vehicle thefts in 2011 and 60 in 2010, which is a 56.7% increase. Neighboring Tuolumne County had 89 thefts in 2011 and 78 in 2010, equating to a 14.1% increase. The number of vehicle thefts statewide actually declined during that period. There were 156,796 in 2011 and 158,883 in 2010, a decline of 1.3%.
Regional counties that saw a decrease in vehicle thefts include San Joaquin (4.3%), Stanislaus (10.5%) and Sacramento (18.7%). Others that saw substantial increases include San Luis Obisbo (44%) and Santa Cruz (26.5%).
San Andreas CHP Spokesperson Rebecca Myers says it’s unclear why Calaveras County saw the steepest increase, but she does volunteer some advice.
“Coming into the winter months, please do not leave your vehicles unattended when letting them warm up, because it’s asking for someone to take it,” says Officer Myers. “Also, don’t leave your keys in the car because all it takes is someone walking by and seeing it.”
The CHP also advises residents to avoid leaving valuables in vehicles, especially when they can be seen. It is also important to lock doors and close windows.