GM Trucks Top Texas DPS’ Most Stolen Vehicles List

June 3, 2004

Stressing that auto theft worries increase during summer, the Texas Department of Public Safety released its annual list of the most stolen vehicles. General Motors trucks came out on top.

Auto thieves don’t take a summer vacation, the DPS said, making the summer months the peak season for vehicle theft in Texas.

According to the DPS, the most stolen vehicles from May 2003 through April 2004 in Texas were:

· General Motors pickups (9,155)
· Ford pickups (4,802)
· Honda Accord (2,929)
· Dodge pickups (2,714)
· GM Suburban (1,925)
· Honda Civic (1,870)
· Toyota Camry (1,539)
· Ford Taurus (1,170)
· Ford Mustang (1,073)

“Car and truck models five years and older account for about 70 percent of all auto theft,” said David Griffith, commander DPS Motor Vehicle Theft Service. “We saw some promising numbers for auto theft in 2003, but summertime is not the time to let our guard down.”

Auto theft declined 4.6 percent in 2003 after two straight years of increases. The auto theft rate (which takes into account population growth) was the lowest since 1978. However, there were still 98,174 vehicles stolen in Texas in 2003, accounting for $782 million in losses.

Griffith recommends several precautions to protect your vehicle:

· Lock all doors; roll up windows, and do not leave the keys in the vehicle. Many stolen vehicles had unlocked doors or the keys left inside them.
· Park in populated, well-traveled and well-lighted areas. About half of all auto thefts take place at night.
· Use an anti-theft device to make the vehicle more difficult to steal, especially if you have a vehicle that is on the most stolen list.
· Consider the use of a tracking system to help recover the vehicle if it is stolen. (Some insurance companies offer rate discounts for reliable systems.)
· Don’t encourage vehicle burglary by leaving expensive items in plain view inside the vehicle.
· Write down your license number and vehicle identification number and carry it in your wallet or purse to expedite the entry of the vehicle into the stolen vehicle data system when a police report is made.

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