Pickup Theft Prevention
Easy pickings for thieves; a few inexpensive theft-prevention upgrades will help make your work truck a little less inviting to the bad elements
By Bruce W. Smith
Vehicle thefts and break-ins are an all-to-common occurrence around jobsites and on the street. Lowlifes who look to other’s property as the means to their own income lurk everywhere.
According to VINTrack data, the top 10 most stolen vehicles in 2011 include the Ford (#3), Chevy (#7) and Ram (#8) pickups.
Those stats haven’t changed much since.Full-szie pickups are shot commodity for their parts.
Fortifying areas of your pickup thieves like to target are easily upgraded to make theft of the truck and other parts much more difficult.
Here are three items every full-size pickup owner should install:
- DOOR HANDLES: A common way for thieves to break into vehicles is to force a thin tool into the seam between the door handle and vehicle body and push the lock cylinder into the door. THE FIX: Install plate that provides a steel barrier between the outside world and inner door-lock assembly and actuating rods. Tuffy Security Products makes a good one. So does Jimmy Jammer.
- TAILGATE: Tailgates are easy money for thieves. Having a tailgate replaced can easily cost $600 from the dealer–not counting paint match. Used ones, which could be the one stolen from your own truck, sell for $250-$350. THE FIX: Install a tailgate lock. Tuffy and McGard offer some good ones.
- HOOD: Yes, vehicle thieves know those batteries, high-output alternators, HID relays and so forth are worth money. So they just walk up to your pickup, slide a long screwdriver through the grill and pop open the hood release. Then they can quickly disable the alarm and go shopping in the engine compartment. Easy pickings. THE FIX: Install a hood-latch guard. Again, Tuffy Security Products and Jimmy Jammer offer these theft deterrents.