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Vehicle theft has always been a problem, but data can prove that thieves are surprisingly interested in certain vehicles over others. That same data finds that the number of truck thefts in the country has only increased over recent years, but why? Here’s a look at why truck theft is on the rise and what you can do to protect yourself from thieves.

The rise of truck theft in America

In recent years, more and more cities and states are experiencing a spike in pickup truck thefts. Places like Las Vegas and states like Oklahoma and Colorado have even issued public statements regarding the matter.

In fact, Westword reported that “three out of five most stolen vehicles in Colorado are trucks.” But they’re not the only ones that have noticed the increase in truck thefts across the country.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) gathers crime and theft data from across the country to discover some pretty interesting facts and trends. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the NICB found that the Ford pickups were the third most-stolen vehicle in 2018.

More than 36,000 Ford pickups were stolen across the country that year and Chevrolet didn’t fall far behind that with more than 31,000 Chevy truck thefts. Out of the ten most-stolen vehicles, pickup trucks take up a total of four spots.

And when it came to the which new vehicles were most stolen in 2018, there were more new GMC and Ford truck thefts than any other new vehicle.

Why thieves target trucks

According to CNBC, there may be a variety of reasons a thief may target a truck, but it’s usually based on simple economics and supply-and-demand. Pickup trucks are not cheap vehicles, often costing up to around $60,000 for a full-size, new truck.

Pickup trucks may also come loaded with other accessories and parts because of a truck’s ability to function for a variety of purposes. Because of the cost that goes into a truck, it simply makes sense that a thief would target a vehicle more expensive than others. And trucks are only improving more and more, containing more expensive components that a thief can sell for more money.

In addition to thieves just looking to make money, trucks may also be victims due to convenience. Trucks are less likely to be parked in public or private garages and can often be left unattended at job sites, etc. Because what a truck may be used for, owners may be more likely to leave a truck running or leave keys in the cab.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half of vehicle theft is due to driver error. Trucks are also more likely than other vehicles to contain cargo, tools, or even guns that can also be of value to thieves.

Protecting yourself from truck theft

With an evident increase in the number of truck thefts happening in the country, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself and your pickup from thieves.

The Las Vegas Metro Police (LVMP) became so concerned over truck thefts in the city that they issued a warning to its citizens “to take steps to secure their trucks,” according to CBS 8 News.

No matter where you live, the LVMP’s advice stands true. Some things you can do to help minimize the risk of getting your truck stolen include the following:

  • Do not leave your keys in your truck and keep it locked all the time
  • Install an anti-theft system (if you don’t already have one)
  • Park your truck in public or well-lit areas, or in a garage
  • Do not leave valuables or expensive items inside your cargo bed or cab