Auto thefts in the Bay Area are on the rise after several years of decline, according to FBI data recently released.
The FBI's data also ranks five local cities among the top in the nation when it comes to auto thefts per capita, or per 100,000 residents.
Richmond ranked No. 1 on the list and was followed by Oakland.
Vallejo, Antioch and Hayward also made the top 10.
San Jose is at No. 16 with more than 8,900 auto thefts in 2012 -- a 71 percent increase from the year before.
Margaret Newbold is part of that significant increase. She had her car stolen from her driveway last Christmas morning.
"It sounds like an awful lot to me. I don't know," she said. "The policeman suggested there was some kind of ring involved, but I think the fact my car was left at Almade and Blossom Hill is that it was being driven around the city during that time and nobody else noticing it."
National Auto Theft Rankings:
(Per 100,000 residents)
- 1. Richmond
- 2. Oakland
- 5. Vallejo
- 8. Antioch
- 9. Hayward
- 16. San Jose
- 37. San Francisco
Police departments and auto theft task forces are pointing to several possible contributing factors to the increase in car thefts.
One is the cutbacks in police departments and the other is the prison realignment that can limit jail time for non-violent offenders.