Pickup truck theft reminds us to be mindful during harvest season

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grain bin
Farm and Dairy file photo.

As farmers put in long days during their busiest season, it’s a worthy reminder to be mindful in every segment of life. My nephew used his pickup truck to move a large grain head to the next farm to be harvested, heading back to the main farm in a separate vehicle. 

When he later returned, he found the grain head sitting where he’d left it, but his Chevy pickup truck had been unhitched from it, and the truck was gone. 

Probably long gone, according to U.S. stolen motor vehicle statistics. According to an official list of the top 10 most stolen vehicles in the United States in 2018, which is the most recent year with available stats, pickup trucks disappear in high numbers. 

Ford pickups were the third most stolen of all vehicles across the country, with 36,355 taken, following the Honda Civic (38,426) and the Honda Accord (36,815), the first and second most stolen cars in the U.S. The Chevrolet pickup was the fourth most stolen in 2018 across the U.S., with 31,566 grabbed by thieves. 

Also among the top 10 most stolen was the GMC pickup truck and Dodge pickups, listed at number eight and nine, respectively. The average value in loss per stolen vehicle, it somewhat surprised me, is not necessarily those with extravagantly high dollar figures, but is estimated at $7,680. 

This can actually be detrimental to the typical car owner, as only those still carrying comprehensive car insurance will receive any payout toward the replacement of the stolen vehicle. Even though motor vehicle theft has been on the decline since 1991, it has remained fairly steady since 2009, remaining above 700,000 thefts per year. 

There is never a shortage of crooks. Be aware that even in the most rural farm field location where one would likely feel safest, a pickup truck is a wanted item by those looking for an easy grab. Set away from residential areas, thieves can make a clean getaway with no one witnessing the theft, making apprehension much tougher for law enforcement. 

Ask neighbors to be more vigilant in watching for unusual traffic. Used vehicles, and vehicle parts, are currently in greater demand, and thieves are looking to make cash at the expense of those who have earned what they own.

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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.

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