Texans love their trucks, but unfortunately so do thieves. Last year in Texas pickups were the most stolen vehicles. But manufactures are trying to out smart thieves with new anti-theft devices.
You can only hope that the squeal of a car alarm will prevent a thief from stealing your car. But a simple snip of a wire can disarm it, so many popular automobile makers are designing more high- tech, anti-theft devices.
“One is called pass lock, which is a passive theft deterrent system that if someone tries to use the incorrect key or messes with the ignition switch, it will disable the fuel system and definitely the truck is not going anywhere if it doesn't have fuel," said Tom Ezzell with Tom Light Chevrolet.
Chevrolet trucks were the most stolen vehicle in Texas last year. The Chevy Tahoe came in 9th. Newer model Chevys are coming equipped with anti-theft devices aimed at making thieves think twice.
Vehicle theft costs Texans more than any other crime, nearly $800 million in 2003. But many law enforcement officials are working together to reduce vehicle theft.
Honda Accords aren't just popular for new car buyers. Thieves like them too, making them one of the most stolen cars in the state.
Keys to an Accord can now only be duplicated at a Honda dealership.
"We have a chip in our key to where when the vehicle is turned off, the starter is cut off and the vehicle can not be hot wired," said Bob McGill with Allen Honda.
And to further deter thieves, all body panels on Hondas are marked with the vehicle identification number making it more difficult for a thief to resale.
"Their adding on all these different things and every year it gets better and better as far as theft deterrent," said McGill.
Automobile makers can only hope that these new devices will make their cars and trucks more attractive to car buyers, and less attractive to thieves.
2004 TOP 10 TEXAS STOLEN VEHICLES
1. Chevrolet Pickup
2. Ford Pickup
3. Dodge Pickup
4. Honda Accord
5. Honda Civic
6. GMC Pickup
7. Toyota Camry
8. Ford Taurus
9. Chevrolet Tahoe
10. Oldsmobile Cutlass
Vehicles are stolen for a variety of reasons, and contrary to popular belief, the most stolen vehicles are several years old. Some are stolen and stripped for parts. Others are stolen and resold by the thief to another party. Many vehicles are stolen for joyriding, for use in committing other crimes, to support drug habits, or to perpetrate insurance fraud. The Texas Automobile Theft Prevention Authority, a division of the Texas Department of Transportation, has funded law enforcement programs specializing in vehicle theft investigation, recovery, prevention and prosecution since 1991. Throughout the years, ATPA has worked closely with local, state, and national agencies to reduce auto theft. To locate and contact the ATPA task force in your area regarding the most stolen vehicles, or for more information on statistics and prevention, call 800-CAR-WATCH.