Car lovers, be encouraged: It's relatively safe to own an automobile in Utah.

According to latest figures released by the National Automobile Theft Bureau, Salt Lake City's rate of car thefts per 100,000 population was 577, well below the national metropolitan average of 676.Here's a look at Utah communities where car thefts were most prevalent in 1987:

- Salt Lake City - 923 thefts for a rate of 577 per 100,000 inhabitants.

- Ogden - 268 thefts, for a rate of 394.

- West Valley City - 272 thefts, for a rate of 297.

- Provo/Orem - 189 thefts, for a rate of 135.

- Sandy - 79 thefts, for a rate of 116.

By comparison, the worst place to own a car is Newark, N.J., where the theft rate per 100,000 is 4,363.

In the Rocky Mountain region, the worst car theft rate was in Denver, Colo., at 1,073.