7 out of the 20 cities with the largest numbers of auto theft are close to the Mexican border. These cities include Laredo, TX; San Diego; Albuquerque, N.M.; Tucson, Ariz.; El Centro, Calif.; El Paso, Texas; and Phoenix.
Laredo and El Paso have drastically jumped in ranking. There has been a 47% increase of auto theft in Laredo since 2005. In 2005, El Paso was ranked #81 out of 100 and has since climbed to #17.
Officials say that the Mexican drug cartel isn’t responsible for each individual stolen vehicle, but their need for vehicles and money to pay people to take them are important factors.
President Barack Obama will visit Mexico this week to show support for President Felipe Calderón, who is using Mexico’s military to crack down on the drug cartels behind an epidemic of violence in northern Mexico. The White House says boosting federal law-enforcement efforts on the U.S. side is a priority.
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