DENVER – Gone in a flash.
More pickup truck owners are walking out to driveways, or jobsite parking spots, only to find their full-size trucks gone – stolen by auto thieves.
“I just don’t understand how somebody can see something, go ‘I want that,’ and then just go and take it,” said Pegi Hansen of Rocky Mountain Flooring Removal in Brighton.
Hansen said she and her husband’s business partner had parked a Ford F-250 with specialized trailer, at a jobsite near West 47th Avenue and Elati Street, on May 16.
“He was in the building all day long, then went outside to get the truck and trailer,” she said. “He was going pull them up to the building so he could load the tools, and they were gone.”
“There was a lot that went through his mind that I can’t repeat,” she said. “We were all in disbelief.”
Hansen told Denver7 that the pickup had been securely parked.
“There was no broken glass,” she said. “They knew exactly what they were doing. They got into the truck. They started it, hotwired it, whatever they did, and they drove it away like it was theirs.”
According to Coloradans Against Auto Theft, three of the top five most stolen vehicles in Colorado are pickup trucks.
Top Ten List of Stolen Vehicles
- Honda Accord
- Honda Civic
- Dodge Ram
- Ford F-250
- Ford F-150
- Jeep Cherokee
- Subaru Impreza
- Chevy Silverado
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Toyota Camry
Kassie Borth, of the Metro Auto Theft Task Force, says so far this year, 7,205 vehicles have been reported stolen in Colorado. She said 15 percent are trucks.
When asked why thieves specifically target trucks, Borth replied, “Stolen vehicles are often used in the commission of other crimes, including burglaries and robberies. Their size, their ability to carry a lot of property, their ability to tow trailers is very useful.”
Borth added that hauling loot isn’t the only reason some thieves choose pickup trucks.
“They can be very hard to stop, if the driver doesn’t want to stop,” she said.
Borth added that Honda Accords make up 55 percent of stolen vehicles.
“Last year, we recovered nearly 90 percent of stolen vehicles,” she said, “generally within a week and a half.”
Hansen says the theft had a huge impact on their floor removal business.
“We had to make sure we didn’t miss a schedule,” she said, “that we got our jobs done properly and on time… without most of our equipment.”
She said the trailer was specifically compartmentalized to store and transport special floor removing tools and equipment.
She said it cost more than $28,000 to replace the trailer and tools alone.
“That doesn’t include the cost of the pickup,” she said.
Hansen told Denver7 she has no idea whether the F-250 is still in the metro area, whether it’s been chopped up or shipped out of country.
“I’ve pretty much dealt with the fact that it’s gone,” she said, “and we moved on.”
Borth said 40 percent of auto theft is preventable.
“Lock your vehicle,” she said. “Don’t leave valuables in plain sight. Don’t leave keys in your vehicle and don’t leave your vehicle running.”
When asked what more can be done to make vehicles secure, Borth suggested using a steering wheel lock.
Hansen said their pickup was well-secured.
“We’re not haphazard about it,” she said. “That is our livelihood. That is our business.”
She posted pictures of the truck and trailer on Facebook. She’s heard from other people who have had their pickup trucks stolen too.
Some have been recovered. Others are still waiting.