Spokane moves up in the national rankings

Spokane has the fourth-highest car theft rate in the country

via Spokane, Yakima are U.S. auto theft hot spots | Puget Sound Business Journal.

Was at #35 in 2008, #18 in 2009 and now #4 in 2010.

Think the local news will cover this? Nah. This is from the Puget Sound Business Journal. Spokane will stick with happy talk news.

Correction and Update: Several local news outlets have reported this.

KXLY says that auto insurance rates will likely go up for Spokane area residents as a consequence. Due to budget cutbacks, the State Patrol is closing its auto theft investigation unit. Party on dudes!

Here is a graphic and data table from the NICB Report.

2010 Ranking 2009 Ranking
1.  Fresno, Calif. 5
2.  Modesto, Calif. 2
3.  Bakersfield-Delano, Calif. 3
4.  Spokane, Wash. 18
5.  Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif. 16
6.  Sacramento/Arden-Arcade/Roseville, Calif. 11
7.  Stockton, Calif. 4
8.  Visalia-Porterville, Calif. 8
9.  San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, Calif. 7
10. Yakima, Wash. 6

The above supports my evolving view that Spokane’s economic situation is extremely bad. Not because of the auto theft rate, per se, but because of where it falls in the list, surrounded by devastated California cities. This suggests the economic climate here is on par with some of the worse in the nation, particularly in California’s Central Valley region, which was gutted by the housing meltdown.

All of the top ten are in California except for Spokane and Yakima. Having been victims of crime in Yakima, this does not surprise us at all. Both cities are suffering urban decay. Yakima, at least, has a somewhat natural comparative geographic advantage – agriculture and fruit.

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