Ford F-250s most stolen vehicles
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When Mike Rast walked outside at his apartment complex early Friday morning, he realized his 2006 Ford F-250 pickup truck was missing.
"I looked and noticed my truck, which is always parked under that light, was not there," Rast said.
After calling police, Rast found out he wasn't alone.
"He asked me to look at his computer screen, and at that moment when he was inputting the data from my stolen truck, he showed me where officers had just sent him alerts to additional, identical trucks that had just been stolen," Rast said.
According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, the F-250 has replaced the Cadillac Escalade as the No. 1 vehicle of choice for car thieves.
"It gets a high resale value in the black market," Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson said.
He said one of the main reasons why crooks want the truck is because of the parts. He said they'll steal the truck, chop it, then move it to Mexico.
"They'll ship the parts over, they'll take the tires, they'll take the parts of the engine, parts of the body," Jefferson said. "They'll just strip it all the way down and just chop it."
One of the most effective ways to protect trucks from thieves is to invest in a rocker switch. It costs about $80 and is installed under the dashboard. When drivers turn their trucks off, they can flip the switch on, which prevents the truck from starting up.
Jefferson said never underestimate the power of wheel locks or a LoJack.
"It works like a satellite works," Jefferson said. "Whatever movement it does, it gives off a certain area of where it is. It doesn't give an exact location, but it can get very, very close."
For Rast, his hope is to spread the word and keep this from happening to anyone else.
"Just be very aware that this is going on and it's continuing to go on," he said.
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