Recent Rash of Ford F-250 and F-350 Diesel Trucks Thefts

15 Nov 2018

Auto thieves have been targeting Ford pick-ups in Pinellas County, FL.  Police in Pinellas County have been monitoring a recent wave of auto thefts in which thieves are specifically targeting pickup trucks.

The thieves have almost always targeted locked vehicles, and they have successfully driven the car away in almost every case. Police are calling the situation “alarming” because it appears that certain models of pickup trucks are being directly targeted because of the vehicle’s key system.

According to police, the spike in stolen Ford F-250 and F-350 diesel trucks is related to the newer vehicle’s computer chip lock system.

The recent thefts have been models from 2001 to 2010 that don’t have the newer key system. The transponder keys usually prevent the engine from starting without the computer chip, so it makes newer models much more difficult to steal. In response, auto thieves have decided to start targeting the later models that don’t have the transponder technology.


While this issue is not limited to Pinellas County, there have already been 15 thefts of these two Ford models this year alone.

Tips for Keeping your Vehicle Safe

Officials are urging car owners to take certain steps to safeguard their vehicles. If you have an older pickup truck without transponder keys, then it’s best to take heed of the following advice. Utilizing the following safety tips may help prevent you from becoming the next victim of this trend:


  • Continue to lock your doors: Police are saying that these car thieves are getting the trucks started and driven away within five minutes. Anything that slows them down acts as a preventative measure.
  • Park inside a garage: Of course, sight unseen is the key here.
  • Use steering wheel locks: This device will be visible from the window, and it will deter thieves by immobilizing the steering wheel.
  • Install an alarm: Thieves typically avoid vehicles with alarm.
  • Use a GPS tracking device: Installing a GPS tracker onto your truck will both deter theft and help you potentially recover your vehicle in the event you are targeted. This device is crucial.

Police in Pinellas County have noted that they have not yet recovered any of the trucks that were stolen this year, and a GPS tracking device could have helped with that.

Police in Pinellas County are asking anyone with information related to this case to contact the Auto Theft Unit at 727-582-6424. If you’d like to remain anonymous, then you can leave your information with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS.


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