No matter where you live, you're at risk for having your car stolen (pro tip: don't leave your keys in an unattended car like these thousands of people did). But the likelihood is higher in certain places, and you should be particularly wary if you live in California, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau's latest Hot Spots report.
The report shows the 10 cities with the highest vehicle theft rates in the nation, nine of which were in the Golden State. The report, based on data from the National Crime Information Center and the U.S. Census Bureau, compares population with the number of reported stolen vehicles to establish the cities with the highest per capita car theft rates for 2015.
Having your car stolen is more than just an inconvenience, especially if you're still paying on your auto loan. If you are, it's important that you don't simply stop making payments just because the car is gone and you're waiting for the authorities and/or your insurance company to address your claim. (Doing so could damage your credit, which certainly won't help you when it comes time to buy a replacement car.) Instead, it's a good idea to call your lender to notify them of the theft and to discuss your options.
Also, if your car is stolen, it's important to think about what other information may have been in your car that the thief could get their hands on, like any forms of ID or vehicle registration documents. If these items are gone, too, it's a good idea to notify the authorities and keep an eye on your accounts for any sign of fraud or identity theft. The sooner you spot these problems, the easier it can be to prevent long-lasting damage. (You can monitor your credit for any problems in several ways, one of which is by taking a look at your free credit report summary, updated each month, on Credit.com.)
10. Vallejo-Fairfield, California
2015 Thefts: 2,352
9. Riverside-San Bernadino-Ontario, California
2015 Thefts: 25,001
8. Merced, California
2015 Thefts: 1,605
7. Pueblo, California
2015 Thefts: 983
6. Stockton-Lodi, California
2015 Thefts: 4,656
You can see the rest of the cities where your car is more likely to get stolen on Credit.com.
This article originally appeared on Credit.com.
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