Thieves Target East Texans' Pickup Trucks - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/29/07-Tyler

Thieves Target East Texans' Pickup Trucks

Thursday, we reported the top ten most stolen vehicles in the state of Texas and pickup trucks made up the top three. More specifically, GM trucks were number one, Ford pickups second and Dodge trucks third. Friday the Tyler Police Department's Auto Theft Task Force and found out why those trucks are the most popular for thieves in East Texas too. 

"The front fenders, the hood, the engine."

Tyler PD Detective Gary King points out the most valuable parts thieves have their eyes on.

"Trucks have always been popular in Texas for the thieves...there's more of them out there, there's more of them on the street so there's more of a demand for the car thieves," King explains.

He says it's no surprise that because trucks are at the top of the list for Texans, they're also top on the list for thieves but there is more to it.

"GM trucks for many many years were interchangeable, the doors, the hood, the fenders," King says.

Trucks are stolen not for a joyride, but simply for parts, parts that can be essentially be slapped onto another truck. And that's why many stolen trucks are older models, not newer ones. 

"Just because your vehicle is older doesn't mean that's it not wanted by the thieves, in fact that is more of a target for the thieves, the vehicle's probably a little easier to steal, and the parts for the older vehicle are more in demand than parts for newer vehicles."

So if you're like the majority of East Texans and own a pickup truck, be on the lookout. And it may sound obvious but take the keys out of your car.  Amazingly, 20 percent of stolen vehicles had the keys left inside, all ready for thieves to steal your beloved pick up truck.

July is "Watch Your Car Awareness Month in Texas. That's because it's the time of year when auto thefts are the highest.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com

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