Thanks to increased security measures, U.S. car thefts in 2010 fell to the lowest observed level since 1967.

They say that crime doesn't pay, and the auto theft statistics from 2010 seem to support that claim. Thanks to increased efforts from law enforcement agencies and the widespread implementation of security devices, car thefts dropped to a 43-year low in 2010.

According to the latest findings of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, roughly 737,404 cars were stolen in the United States last year. That represents a 7.2 percent improvement over the 794,616 cars stolen in 2009 and marks the lowest tally since 1967.

"Technology both on the manufacturing end and what comes out of the automakers is a lot better than it was," Frank Scafidi, a spokesman for NICB, told Bloomberg. "Even on the baseline vehicle today, it's harder to steal than in 2000."

NICB also attributes the drop in car thefts to police "bait programs." Several law enforcement agencies now employ the tactic, which typically involves an unlocked car with the keys in the ignition. When a would-be car thief hops behind the wheel, officer move in to apprehend the suspect.

Although New York City is typically perceived as a hotbed for car thefts, the metropolitan area actually saw its car thefts decrease 1.9 percent in 2010. With 29,189 car thefts, the Big Apple ranked 198th of 366 Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

Dallas saw one of the biggest improvements of any major city, with its car thefts falling 14.5 percent to 21,963. Dallas is one such city that uses bait programs.

Fresno, California had the highest theft rate of any U.S. city, tallying 812 car thefts per 100,000 people. California lays claim to eight of the top 10 regions for car thefts.

Those wanting to keep their rides safe should move to State College, Pennsylvania. The college town recorded just 46 car thefts last year - or 30 per 100,000 people - making it the safest place to park your car for the second year in a row.


1.'U.S. Auto Thefts...' view