SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The number of vehicles stolen in California in 2017 was down 6.2 percent after back-to-back years of increases, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP said 175,351 vehicles were stolen in 2017 compared to 186,857 in 2016. That accounts for the largest annual decrease in stolen vehicles since 2014. CHP officials attributed the decrease to advances in anti-theft technology, aggressive police work and public vigilance.

“Although the overall number of vehicles stolen is down, there is still much work to be done,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley in a statement.  “Law enforcement can’t solve the problem alone … and asks the public do its part.”

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CHP officials advise motorists to park in a well-lit, secure or highly-visible location, lock all doors/windows, use an alarm system, don’t leave a vehicle unattended with its engine running, never leave valuable items in plain sight and to report suspicious activity to law enforcement.

CHP officials said a vehicle is stolen every three minutes in California.

“Vehicle theft is a crime of opportunity,” Stanley said. “Do not make it easy for a thief to gain access to your vehicle.”

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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