Numerous Ford truck thefts reported in Clewiston in past year

It topped the list of America’s Most Stolen Vehicles from 2010 to 2012, and it seems thieves are still targeting this vehicle across the state of Florida and Hendry County.

The Ford F-250 was named America’s Most Stolen Vehicle in 2013 by the Highway Loss Data Institute, and that trend does not seem to be wavering.

Between January 2014 and March 2015, four F-250s were reported stolen within the city limits of Clewiston alone, and its sister model, the F-350, was not far behind, with three reported stolen in the city limits within the same time frame.

Nearly half the time, a trailer was attached to the truck when it was stolen, with goods such as lawn mowing and welding equipment inside, In one case, the trailer was waiting for its owner and boat to return from a day of fishing on Lake Okeechobee.

More than half the time, the trucks and trailers were eventually recovered.

The Ford F-250s and 350s are susceptible to theft and easy to break into, according to Clewiston Police Chief Don Gutshall.

A simple search on YouTube pulls up videos of how thieves can easily break into the truck, and it can be done within seconds. The quickness with which thieves can break into the truck makes it much harder for law enforcement to determine a break-in from an owner entering his own vehicle.

“Even if we have cameras, it’s difficult to know if they’re being broken into or if that’s the owner,” said Chief Gutshall, offering advice to owners of these model Fords. “Just try to park in a well-populated, well-lit area.”

But even in well-populated, well-lit areas, thieves can still strike. This past February, one truck owner came out of Beef O’Brady’s after eating lunch to find his Ford F-250 missing from the populated parking lot. In the back of the owner’s truck at the time were reportedly $2,000 to $3,000 worth of copper wire scraps.

When parking the vehicle in well-lit, well-populated areas isn’t enough, the police department suggests purchasing a good-old-fashioned steering wheel lock, or other similar anti-theft devices.

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