Mission Viejo is Safest Place to Live, Shops at Mission Viejo is Safest Place to Leave Your Car

If you reside in Mission Viejo, congratulations, you sleep at night in the safest city in Orange County, according to rankings based on FBI crime data.

Meanwhile, if you are a purse, stereo or other valuable item inside a car parked at the Shops at Mission Viejo–or a vehicle itself parked there–congratulations, you're at the safest mall in Orange County, according to separate rankings.

CQ Press, a division of Congressional Quarterly Inc., ranks Mission Viejo the third safest city in America behind only Colonie and Amherst, both in New York. The publication relies on raw data submitted from cities to the FBI.

Irvine, whose City Council incumbents use the town's annual safety rankings as reelection talking points, finished fourth, while Lake Forest, in 10th, was the only other Orange County city to crack the top 10.

Other Orange County cities that were ranked (and where they finished) are: Newport Beach (28); Orange (33); Huntington Beach (44); Westminster (86); Garden Grove (99); Costa Mesa (103); Fullerton (109); Anaheim (126); Buena Park (142); and Santa Ana (180).

Meanwhile, LAist and CBS Los Angeles recently ranked 50 Southern California malls for auto thefts and break-ins in 2009, mostly to come up with the most-dangerous place to shop (Westfield Shopping Town in West Covina).

However, if one were the flip the list on its head (ouch!), you can find the safest places to shop, and near the tippy top of that ranking one finds the Shops at Mission Viejo, which had only one stinking car break-in and no car thefts.

The next safest Orange County mall was The District in Tustin, with 7 break-ins and 3 stolen vehicles. Next were The Village in Orange (8/6) and Laguna Hills Mall (9/5).

But, surprisingly safer than all Orange County malls other than the Shops at Mission Viejo was Long Beach Towne Center, which had 3 break-ins and no stolen vehicles.

Where Orange County's toniest malls–Fashion Island in Newport Beach and South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa–finished on the list was also revelatory: Fash Isle came right after Laguna Hills, with 13 break-ins and 3 stolen vehicles, while SCP was the fourth-most targeted, with 35 break-ins and 10 vehicles stolen. That was worse than Westminster Mall! (32/19).

The top three, in terms of break-ins and vehicle thefts, were: Bella Terra in Huntington Beach (55/7); Brea Mall (50/17); and Westfield MainPlace in Santa Ana (48/29).

Other Orange County contributors to the list were: The Block at Orange (31/12); Buena Park Mall (30/23); Irvine Spectrum (24/7); and Tustin Marketplace (17/1).

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