Steal Me! I'm An F-250

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
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Prematurely pronounced dead, trucks are back in favor. They never went out of style with one eclectic clientele: Thieves. “Thieves continue to target large pickups and large SUVs at higher rates than other vehicles,” says the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) that keeps track of these things. “No. 1 on this year’s list, the four-wheel-drive F-250 crew cab, has a claim frequency of 7 per 1,000 insured vehicle years, or nearly 6 times the average for all vehicles.”

The Ford F-250 has replaced the Cadillac Escalade, formerly the most loved by crooks. The HLDI cites “new antitheft technology on the Escalade, as well as its waning popularity,” as the two likely reasons.

“General Motors has put a lot of effort into new antitheft technology, so that may help explain the decline in the Escalade’s theft rate,” says HLDI Vice President Matt Moore. “On the other hand, sales of the Escalade have fallen in recent years, so there may be less of a market for stolen Escalades or Escalade parts.”

If you want to find your car where you left it, get a Toyota Sienna 4WD, or a Jeep Compass. Thieves hate them.

INSURANCE THEFT CLAIMS, 2010-12 PASSENGER VEHICLESVehicle size/typeClaim feq.Avg. loss pmt per claimOverall theft lossesHIGHEST CLAIM RATESFord F-250 crew 4WDvery large pickup7.0$7,060$50Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crewlarge pickup6.7$5,463$37Chevrolet Avalanche 1500very large SUV6.1$6,163$38GMC Sierra 1500 crewlarge pickup6.0$6,366$38Ford F-350 crew 4WDvery large pickup5.6$7,517$42Cadillac Escalade 4WDlarge luxury SUV5.5$6,508$36Chevrolet Suburban 1500very large SUV5.4$4,468$24GMC Sierra 1500 extended cablarge pickup4.7$5,908$28GMC Yukonlarge SUV4.5$6,276$28Chevrolet Tahoelarge SUV4.4$5,367$23LOWEST CLAIM RATESDodge Journey 4WDmidsize SUV0.4$5,016$2Volkswagen Tiguan 4WDsmall SUV0.4$10,352$4Audi A4 4-doormidsize luxury car0.4$13,803$5Acura RDXmidsize luxury SUV0.4$8,701$3Toyota Matrixsmall station wagon0.4$7,782$3Lexus HS 250 hybrid 4-doormidsize luxury car0.4$2,226$1Honda CR-Vsmall SUV0.4$4,630$2Hyundai Tucson 4WDsmall SUV0.4$4,134$2Toyota Sienna 4WDvery large minivan0.5$13,038$6Jeep Compass 4WDsmall SUV0.5$5,527$3AVERAGE ALL PASSENGER VEHICLES1.2$6,532$8Note: Claim frequencies are per 1,000 insured vehicle years; overall
losses are average payments per insured vehicle year.. Source:HLDI
Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • CJinSD CJinSD on Jul 09, 2013

    Is there any correlation between theft rates and being too big to fit in 90% of garages?

  • Sigivald Sigivald on Jul 09, 2013

    From what I've learned since getting mine, the SuperDuty series are easy to break into, too - screwdriver to punch out the plastic latch surround and open the lock. I am considering a "Jimmy Jammer", as the most common remedy appears to be called.

    • Sigivald Sigivald on Jul 09, 2013

      (Likewise the F250 Crew 4WD and F350 Crew 4WD in those specific places probably closely map their sales popularity. I can't even remember the last time I saw a post-99 SuperDuty that wasn't 4WD, and I see a *lot* of Crew Cabs. Might be that the majority of the Extended and Standard cabs are low-spec work trucks [like mine] and thus not as juicy as a Crew with more seats to steal and fancier guts?)

  • MaintenanceCosts So there is no Sonata trim without some type of Theta engine.It seems like they've been doing a bit better when attached to a hybrid system, so that's probably the one to get, but they're going to have to go several years without further engine troubles before I'd trust a H/K ICE product again.
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  • John Not everyone pays that much for power. Mine is 10 cents per kw…..