Auto Thieves Targeting Full Size Pickups and SUVs

The increasing popularity of full size pickups has made them a prime target for thieves.  According to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) the 4×4 Ford F-250 Super Duty crew cab has become the most frequently stolen and stolen from vehicle in America. In fact, the HLDI estimates that the Ford F-250 is nearly six times as likely to fall victim to thieves as the average vehicle based on claims data for model-years 2010 through 2012 vehicles.

The HLDI’s claims data makes no distinction between vehicles that were stolen outright, and thefts of specific items of or from vehicles.

In the case of the Ford F-250, thieves are more likely to steal auto parts or cargo (including tools) than to steal the entire vehicle. The HLDI report shows that insurance claims payments for the F-250s averaged $7,060.  According to the nation’s largest automotive vehicle valuation company, Kelley Blue Book, a 2010 4×4 F-250 crew cab resells for about $33,000.

Although the Ford F-250 tops the list, General Motors SUVs and full-size pickups account for eight of the remaining vehicles on the HLDI’s top-ten list of most frequently stolen vehicles in the U.S.

The Cadillac Escalade had held the dubious distinction as the most-coveted target for auto thieves for a decade. It has now fallen to the number six position, and HLDI vice president Matt Moore speculates that the decline in the Escalade’s popularity among thieves is due to improvements in its anti-theft system.

Here is the HLDI’s list of auto thieves’ top-10 favorite targets:

  1. Ford F-250 4×4 crew cab
  2. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab
  3. Chevrolet Avalanche 1500
  4. GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab
  5. Ford F-350 4×4 crew cab
  6. Cadillac Escalade 4×4
  7. Chevrolet Suburban 1500
  8. GMC Sierra 1500 extended cab
  9. GMC Yukon
  10. Chevrolet Tahoe

In addition to its list of the top-10 most appealing vehicles for thieves to target, the HLDI also compiled a list of ten vehicles that are the least likely to be targeted by thieves.  That list is comprised primarily of compact SUVs and premium autos.  The HLDI speculates these vehicles are targeted less frequently is because they “spend their time in suburban garages where theft likelihood is low.”

Although there were fewer claims paid on these vehicles, those claims were typically higher than those paid for full size trucks, which indicates that thieves typically stole the entire vehicle, and not just parts.

The ten least-favorite targets for auto thieves includes:

  1. Dodge Journey AWD
  2. Volkswagen Tiguan AWD
  3. Audi A4 four-door
  4. Acura RDX
  5. Toyota Matrix
  6. Lexus S 250 hybrid
  7. Honda CRV
  8. Hyundai Tucson AWD
  9. Toyota Sienna AWD
  10. Jeep Compass AWD
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