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Auto theft nationwide was up about 1% in the first six months of 2015, as drivers made more trips amid lower fuel prices. (Photo: iStock)

The Modesto, California, area had the worst auto theft rate in the U.S. last year, overtaking the San Francisco Bay region.

Modesto had 756 thefts per 100,000 people, up from about 573 a year earlier, when it ranked fifth-worst in the country, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) said Monday in a report. Albuquerque, New Mexico, had the second-highest rate. San Francisco improved to No. 5 from No. 1 in 2014.

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