The National Insurance Crime Bureau recently released its annual “Most Stolen Vehicles” report, and some truck owners may need to look out for thieves. The NICB does reveal that vehicle theft in the US is down overall. But that’s of little comfort to somehow who just had their expensive pride-and-joy jacked.
The NICB’s Hot Wheels list is courtesy of 2018 data from the National Crime Information Center. The list also breaks the top stolen vehicles into both ‘Top 10 most-stolen overall’, and ‘Top 10 most-stolen 2018 model year vehicle.’ But for the owners of the listed trucks, the NCIB also has some tips to help prevent theft.
Ford F-150 (and presumably Ford’s F-Series Super-Duty, too)
Topping in at #3 on the most-stolen vehicle overall list is Ford’s full-size pickup. Of the almost 749,000 vehicles stolen in 2018, roughly 5% were Ford full-size pickups. The NCIC data doesn’t specify which F-Series was stolen most, but it was presumably the F-150.
The 2006 F-150 was the most commonly stolen—thieves probably read our list of unreliable F-150 model years. But the 2018 F-150 made the Top 10 list of most-stolen 2018 model year vehicles, coming in at #2.
Chevrolet Silverado (1500 and presumably HD, too)
Chevrolet doesn’t like it when Ford beats it out in truck sales, but this is a time Chevy should celebrate coming in second. The Silverado series was the 4th most-stolen vehicle in 2018. The most common model year stolen? 2004. But considering the severe quality flaws the ’04 Silverado had, theft may be a blessing in disguise.
The 2018 Silverado was also stolen considerably less often than the F-150. The Chevy truck came in at #5 on the Top 10 Most-Stolen 2018 Models list.
However, the Silverado isn’t the only GM truck on the NICB’s list.
GMC Sierra (1500 and presumably HD, too)
Underneath the multi-function tailgate and leather, the GMC Sierra is essentially a Chevrolet Silverado. Although some Silverado trims have better interiors, the Sierra is GM’s answer for customers wanting a luxurious pickup. Or, in this case, thieves.
The 2018 Sierra was the #1 Most-Stolen 2018 model-year vehicle in the US. The 2018 model year was also the most-stolen Sierra model year. Overall, the GMC Sierra ranked #8 on the Top 10 Most-Stolen Vehicles list, just above the Ram pickup (pre- and post-Dodge split). And much like in new sales, roughly 1/3rd as many Sierras were stolen as Silverados.
NICB tips to prevent truck theft
The easiest and cheapest way to prevent vehicle theft is to exercise some common sense. Lock your truck, park in a well-lit area, and keep the windows closed. NICB’s CEO, Jim Schweitzer, also recommends keeping valuables and purchases out of sight.
Beyond that, the NICB has several additional “layers of protection” it recommends. Warning devices, such as alarms and locks on the wheels or steering wheel, let thieves know your truck is protected. Etching your VIN on different parts of the truck also helps authorities track theft back to an individual vehicle.
If warning devices aren’t enough, truck owners can also install immobilizers. These include devices like smart keys and fuse cut-offs, or hidden kill switches and disablers. Their purpose is to stop thieves from hot-wiring the truck and driving away. And to help locate your truck quickly even if it’s stolen, you can also install a vehicle tracker. Most use GPS, or a combination of GPS and wireless signals, to help police find your truck sooner. GM’s OnStar also provides the same service.