Pickups are not only popular among Texas drivers, they are also top targets for Texas vehicle thieves! The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has released its final MVT19 report on the top vehicles reported stolen in Texas during 2012. The MVT19 report is compiled monthly by DPS and represents vehicle theft data entered into the Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC) by all Texas law enforcement agencies.

An error margin of plus or minus five percent is assumed for incorrect entries by agencies. Based on the reports, as has been the

case for many years, pickup trucks top the list of thieves’ most common targets for the year. Coming in at No. 1 was the Ford Pickup followed closely by the Chevrolet Pickup at No. 2. In the No. 3 position, the Dodge Pickup also remains a popular target for Texas thieves.

The Honda Civic and the Chevrolet Tahoe round out the top five stolen vehicles. The complete top ten list of 2012 most stolen passenger vehicles in Texas includes:

1) Ford Pickup

2) Chevrolet Pickup

3) Dodge Pickup

4) Honda Civic

5) Chevrolet Tahoe

6) Honda Accord

7) GMC Pickup

8) Chevrolet Impala

9) Toyota Camry

10) Ford Taurus

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 thieves to unsuspecting ers. Many vehicles are stolen for joyriding, for use in committing other crimes, to perpetrate insurance fraud, to burglarize personal items and documentation, or for any number of other illegitimate purposes. And vehicle theft directly costs Texans more than any other single crime – over $621 million in 2011.

Personnel from the Texas Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority (ABTPA) and the agency’s associated vehicle crime task forces remind Texas drivers that vehicle thieves are always looking for opportunities to steal. Vehicle owners should be aware that thieves can be lurking anywhere, and drivers should practice prevention techniques such as hiding contents that may be desirable to a thief, locking vehicle doors, and taking keys.

The Texas ABTPA, an office of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, has funded law enforcement programs specializing in vehicle crime investigation, recovery, prevention and prosecution since 1991. Since then, Texas has seen a 61 percent reduction in the vehicle theft total. Currently, ABTPA funds 29 task force grant programs statewide, allowing over 150 law enforcement officers throughout Texas to focus exclusively on the resolution of vehicle crime cases. To locate and contact the ABTPA task force in your area, to arrange an interview, to acquire PSAs, or for more information on vehicle crime statistics and prevention, contact Michelle Lanham with ABTPA’s RATT program at 214-671-3738, 800-CAR-WATCH or via e-mail at michelle.lanham@unt.edu.