It's appropriate that while the rodeo is happening over at Reliant Park, thieves are gearing up for another year of stealing your pickup trucks. The Texas Department of Public Safety released its list of the ten most stolen vehicles in the state and, not surprisingly, trucks are right at the top.
But in case you were worried that these thieves were a bunch of pinko commie terrorist types who loved only foreign jobs, think again. When it comes to trucks, the bigger and more 'Merican, the better. But that wasn't the stat that surprised me the most. That would be the fact that 50 percent of all vehicles stolen in Texas in 2012 had the keys in the ignition. Who does this?
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The last time I saw someone routinely leave the keys in the ignition of his car, it was my grandfather when I was about five years old and that was a long time ago and only when he went to his neighborhood post office, which sat in the middle of a residential neighborhood full of other old people. Even he wasn't dumb enough to do that at the grocery store or a mall or something.
I've always believed that thieves were a rather lazy group, not because they stole things instead of having regular jobs but because being lazy made them less likely to approach a target that left them vulnerable to being apprehended. Those crazy-looking steering wheel locks aren't just effective because of what they do, but also because a thief takes one look in the window, sees that yellow bar and thinks, "Screw this. I'm on to the car with the doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition."
So, don't leave your keys in the ignition. I can't believe I even have to say that, but there it is. Here is the top 10 list.
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