No.1 Pickup is the Most-stolen

By: Anthony Fontanelle

Ford Motor Co.'s F-Series pickup, dubbed the bread-and-butter vehicle of the automaker, has inked and is still expected to leave remarkable prints in the auto industry. The truck has been sold for five decades now.

Ford F-150, the most popular variant of the F-Series, has been the best-selling truck in America for 23 years. Worldwide, the F-150 is the best-selling truck for three decades now. But along its popularity and prestige is a sad fact. The truck is also the most-stolen vehicle in Texas, a trucker state.

"The number one pickup in Texas is also the most-stolen pickup" stressed Seguin Ford Vice President and General Manager Scott Brown. "They're so good even the thieves want them!"

The Texas Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority has released its list of the most-stolen vehicles in the state over 2007. The top three vehicles were Ford F-Series, Chevy and Dodge. They are followed by Honda Accord and Civic, Chevy Tahoe SUV and the GMC pickup. To complete the top ten were Ford Taurus, Toyota Camry and Mustang.

The ABTPA, a division of the Texas Department of Transportation works with local, state and national law enforcement agencies to reduce auto theft, and its annual report is a compilation of monthly vehicle theft reports filed with the Texas Department of Public Safety by all of the state's law enforcement agencies, according to The Gazette-Enterprise.

In Seguin, Police Detective Lt. Johnny San Miguel said that local authorities had recently seen a spike in thefts and break-ins involving Ford trucks and SUVs. "I don't know whether it's only that they're popular," he said. "Some people who steal them seem to be defeating the security interlock."

Bobby Bailey, Guadalupe County sheriff's investigator, is detailed to the Combined Sheriff's Auto Theft Task Force, a unit composed of deputies who patrol 17 south central Texas counties. On the average, Bailey estimated that four or five motor vehicles, not including RVs, ATVs or utility trailers, are stolen on average each month in unincorporated areas of his territory. However, the figure can be as dismal as one or two or as vigorous as up to 15 during any given month.

Bailey said that trucks have long been a major target of auto thieves. A few years ago, the popular notion was that vehicles were often stolen here and taken to Mexico to be parted out, Bailey noted. In Texas, the pickup is a famed transportation, he added. What's more, there is a booming used parts business connected with all vehicles.

The best thing to do to avoid becoming a crime statistic, Bailey said, is to practice basic security techniques because a large percentage of auto thieves are criminals of opportunity, and if roadblocks are thrown into their paths, they will often look for a softer target.

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