Pickups are a popular target for theft

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The Club ranks as the best selling vehicle anti-theft device on Amazon.com. U.S. and Canadian authorities advise stepping up vehicle security, especially for pickups which are a prime target for thieves.The Club ranks as the best selling vehicle anti-theft device on Amazon.com. U.S. and Canadian authorities advise stepping up vehicle security, especially for pickups which are a prime target for thieves.

Pickup owners on your last-minute gift list may appreciate an anti-theft device this Christmas.

The most current data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) in the U.S. reveals that three pickup trucks from three different manufacturers are among the top 10 most frequently stolen vehicles in the U.S.

Ford F-150 tops the list as the truck most favored by thieves in the U.S. That news comes as FOX 2 in Detroit reports Tuesday that police busted an F-150 theft ring in Livonia. Eight people were arrested. At the time the story was published, it was still unclear how many trucks had been stolen.

Ford trucks are especially popular with thieves in Canada. Nine of the top-10 stolen vehicles this past year are Ford trucks and none of the vehicles had anti-theft immobilizing devices, according to a recent report from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

Adding insult to injury, critical personal information found by thieves in a stolen vehicle, including insurance and registration information, can be used to hijack that person’s identity. Both U.S. and Canadian authorities have been warning that identity theft is on the rise.

NICB’s most current vehicle theft study reveals that pickups comprise 31 percent of the 205,862 vehicles reported stolen in the U.S. during 2014.

Full-size Ford pickups (NICB does not specify models) were the most frequently stolen trucks in the U.S. and the overall third most commonly stolen vehicle with 28,680 total thefts. Full-size Chevy pickups are number four on the list with 23,196 being reported stolen and full-size Ram trucks are number six with 11,075 thefts.

NICB recommends equipping vehicles with a tracking device and anti-theft immobilizing features.

“Generally speaking, if your vehicle can’t be started, it can’t be stolen,” the NICB report states. “Kill switches, fuel cut-offs and smart keys are among the devices that are extremely effective.”

The Ford F-350 and F-250 are in nine of the top 10 spots of the most commonly stolen vehicles in Canada for 2015. The only vehicle on the list that’s not a Ford truck is a Cadillac Escalade SUV. All of the top 10 vehicles favored by thieves in Canada are four-wheel-drive.

None of the vehicles in Canada’s top 10 list were equipped with an anti-theft immobilizing device, according to the IBC report. Also, keys had been left inside 60 percent of the stolen vehicles.

Vehicle thefts in Canada for 2015 numbered 23,864, an increase of one percent from last year. The IBC report does not specify the number of each model stolen.

Rick Dubin, vice president of IBC’s investigative services, says that most of Canada’s truck thieves target vehicles with keys inside. A common practice in Canada and the U.S. during freezing winters is to run a vehicle unattended outside of a residence or even a business where drivers frequently make quick, routine visits.

“The crooks are targeting vehicles with keys in them because they are of greater value,” Dubin says. “Don’t leave your vehicle running unattended in your driveway or at your favorite coffee shop.”

Dubin says 41 vehicles seized this past year by Canadian authorities had been dismantled and packed for shipment.

“We are seeing containers in the Montreal and Halifax ports stocked with car and truck parts,” Dubin reports. “Crooks are trying to fool Canada Border Services Agency and IBC by dismantling high-end, late model vehicles.”

CBSA and IBC recovered $10 million in stolen vehicles at ports this year.