Pickup trucks sold by General Motors are among the most likely of any models to be stolen, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute, an insurance industry trade group.
The institute compiled a list of the 20 models with the highest theft rates. GM trucks accounted for a quarter of the list.
“Theft risk is a problem with all pickup trucks,” said Matt Moore, the institute’s senior vice president. “They are much more likely to be stolen than other types of vehicles.”
All the vehicles on the insurance group’s most-stolen list are pricy. That’s most likely why so many trucks are high in the rankings, Moore said.
“The full-size pickup trucks have become very expensive and have become valuable for thieves. Some are being taken for parts, and some are being stolen for resale,” Moore told Trucks.com.
The institute doesn’t know why GM models are the most-stolen trucks. Moore said it’s in contrast with other GM vehicles, which are among the least likely to attract a thief.
“Whether there is a vulnerability in GM’s anti-theft technology or they are in most demand by thieves, we can’t say,” he said.
GMC SIERRA THEFT RATE
The automaker’s GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab ranked fifth among all vehicles with a relative theft claim frequency of 393. The average for all vehicles was 100. That means the Sierra gets stolen at about four times the rate of the typical auto.
The highest was the Dodge Charger Hemi sedan at 544. That’s almost 5.5 times the theft rate of other cars. The Dodge Challenger SRT followed at 529, the Infiniti Q50 SUV was next at 525, and the Infiniti QX80 SUV was at 422.
The data looked at thefts of 2016 through 2018 model-year vehicles.
Other GM-built pickup trucks making the most-stolen list include the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab, ranked eighth; the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab 4WD, ranked 14th; the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, ranked 17th; and the GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab 4WD, ranked 18th.
Pickup trucks made up 30 percent of the institute’s most-stolen vehicle list. Nissan’s Titan crew cab short bed truck was 16th.
ESCALADE THEFT REDUCTION
GM has had trouble with vehicles making previous top theft lists.
Its Cadillac Escalade previously dominated the institute’s rankings of vehicles popular with thieves. But it didn’t make this year’s list.
Cadillac added more anti-theft features beginning with the 2015 model year. They include glass-breakage sensors and motion detectors. GM also added an inclination sensor that triggers an alarm if someone tries to take the wheels off, tow the vehicle or lift it onto a flatbed truck, according to the institute.
COMPARING THEFT RATES
The insurance group publishes the report so that consumers can compare the relative theft risks among vehicles. It only looks at the theft of insured vehicles, rather than all thefts. The institute said that it provides more useful data than other most-stolen vehicle lists that report raw numbers. The most common vehicles on the road dominate those lists.
“If you live in a place where vehicle theft is a problem, you should be aware of the vehicles that are of most interest to thieves,” Moore said. “You should take that into consideration when considering what vehicle to buy.”
One trend discovered by the institute is that thieves don’t target electric vehicles. Even expensive models such as Tesla’s Model S and Model X are among the least stolen vehicles.
People typically park electric vehicles in garages for charging, and that may reduce theft rates, the group said.
Just a handful of automakers had vehicles on the 20 most-stolen cars list. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had the most: six Dodge models and one Chrysler model. GM and Nissan – including three Infiniti vehicles – tied for second with five each. Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar Land Rover and Audi each had one vehicle.