SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – New numbers from the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s latest Hot Spots report show that the Bay Area leads the nation in per capita vehicle theft rate.

The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metropolitan area saw more than 29,000 cars stolen in 2014. The region had a little more than 633 thefts for every 100,000 people, outdistancing Bakersfield and Stockton, which were second and third on the list respectively.

The NICB said vehicle thefts were down across the country in 2014, but there are still plenty of ways drivers can better protect their vehicles from thieves.

“Be smart about where you’re leaving your car. If you’re going shopping someplace, don’t leave a bunch of stuff visible,” said Frank Scafidi with the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

The problem of stolen cars has not gone unnoticed in San Francisco as Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced legislation this week aimed at curbing the issue and helping victims.

“The proposal would increase the storage fee grace period from 4 hours to 48 hours for San Francisco residents and 24 hours for non-residents,” Wiener said.

Currently, those who don’t retrieve their car in a timely manner must pay hundreds of dollars in fees that only increase with each passing day.

Wiener’s legislation would also waive administrative towing fees for residents and cut fees in half for non-residents.

The Vallejo-Fairfield area and San Jose were also in the Top 10 in terms of vehicle theft rate. Overall, seven of the 10 “Hot Spots” were metropolitan regions in California.

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