California ranks at the top of all states for luxury car theft, according to an insurance industry research group.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau looked at a four-year period starting at the beginning of 2009 and found that California accounted for nearly a quarter of the roughly 4,400 luxury vehicles stolen in the U.S.  The report includes thefts only for 2010, 2011, and 2012 model year vehicles.

New York was the top metropolitan area for luxury car theft, with 806, toping second-place Los Angeles’ 491 thefts by a wide margin. Miami was narrowly in third place.

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The good news is that most of stolen cars – nearly 84% - were recovered.

Mercedes-Benz had three of the nameplates on the list of the 10 most stolen luxury vehicles. Its C-class topped the rankings.

BMW had two of the top 10 with its 3-series as the second most stolen luxury car.  The Infiniti G-series was third. It also was the least likely to be recovered.

The report is based only on thefts entered into the National Crime Information Center database.  The insurance group said one common form of luxury car theft results when they are leased or purchased on a payment plan and then quickly exported out of the country.  These are thefts by fraud or financial schemes and are not always entered into NCIC as standard vehicle thefts.

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