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The Ford F-150 Finally Ditched Its Most Annoying Title

The Ford F-150 pickup is the best-selling vehicle in America. It has also held another troubling title—but it just lost it. 

You probably already know that the Ford F-150 is the top-selling vehicle overall in America. It's a perennial winner. But there's another troublesome title the Ford F-150 has held on to. It's been the most stolen vehicle. But it just gave up the title.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the F-150 has given up its top spot on America's list of most stolen vehicles. Two Hyundai models now top the list. Thieves target older Hyundai models that lack an engine immobilizer, which prevents a vehicle from starting. 

"These rankings highlight the persistent threat of vehicle theft across the country," said NICB President and CEO David J. Glawe. 

But That's Not The Story

Pickup trucks like the Ford F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 are notorious for being stolen in the U.S. In 2023, the Silverado slipped to the fourth most stolen spot, and the F-150 dropped to ninth on the National list of the top ten most stolen models. 

Ford F-150 owners shouldn't think they aren't being targeted any longer. In 2023, 15,852 Ford F-150 Series pickups were stolen by car thieves. However, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 had 23,721 vehicle thefts last year. In comparison, 48,445 Hyundai Elantra and 42,813 Hyundai Sonata models were stolen in 2023. 

Thieves Target The F-150 At Denver's Airport

I live within 30 minutes of Denver International Airport. A  Road & Track report says that the F-150 has become the leading target of an increasing wave of auto thefts at the world's sixth busiest airport. 

Why Is The F-150 Targeted?

Cale Gould from the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA) told R&T he believes the high rate of F-150 ownership combined with factors like owner behavior and security system exploits are driving the issue.

"When we talk about vehicles with high theft volume, traditionally there isn't a 'type' or a single factor that creates this theft volume via targeting," Gould said.

According to a report from Westword, Kevin Griffitts' Shelby F-150 Super Snake was stolen shortly after he parked it at the Denver airport last year. The modified pickup was a lifelong dream purchase for Griffitts.

"If I had been aware that that was the case, I would have parked somewhere else or taken the shuttle," Griffitts told Westword. "Anything but leave my truck where it was. At this point, in hindsight, I feel like I literally just left the keys in the driver's seat and said, 'Here you go."

What Should You Do If Your Vehicle Is Stolen?

Call your local law enforcement immediately because reporting a vehicle as soon as possible after it is stolen increases the chance of recovery.

The NICB says, "More than 85 percent of passenger vehicles reported stolen were subsequently recovered by law enforcement or other means, with 34 percent recovered within a day of the vehicle being reported stolen."

How Do You Prevent Vehicle Theft?

NICB recommends the following tips to help prevent vehicle thefts:

  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.
  • Hide valuables out of sight, such as in the glove box or trunk.
  • Do not leave your keys in your vehicle.
  • Do not leave the area while your car is running.

CATPA states that owners can take more steps to limit the risks of vehicle theft. "We are a huge advocate of physical hardening systems, everything from the old school steering wheel lock like 'the club' to re-imagined security devices like parking boots, shift locks, pedal cages, and more," Gould said. 

"These serve as a visual deterrent to a thief and a physical prevention device. Then, of course, we also highly value kill switches and aftermarket alarm systems, and the number one way to stop a vehicle theft is a vehicle engine immobilizer meeting the UL 338 standard. Any car can be " theft-proof through key security, environmental awareness, and vehicle hardening."

I've had two vehicles stolen, and it's the worst feeling I've had in the world. When I looked for my car, and I knew where I parked it, and it was not there, my heart sank, and it felt like I had been violated. 

My 1964 Corvette was found in the South Platte River in Denver, stripped of its wheels and tires, and they never recovered my Jeep CJ5. It was likely stripped for parts. My insurance covered both, but the time and hassle of dealing with it are a pain.

Here is the complete list of the most stolen vehicles in 2023 and the number stolen

  1. Hyundai Elantra 48,445
  2. Hyundai Sonata 42,813
  3. Kia Optima 30,204
  4. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 23,721
  5. Kia Soul 21,001
  6. Honda Accord 20,895
  7. Honda Civic 19,858
  8. Kia Forte 16,209
  9. Ford F-150 15,852
  10. Kia Sportage 15,749

The Ford F-150 lost its title as the most stolen vehicle in America, but that doesn't let owners off the hook. Thieves are still targeting your pickup. Stay vigilant.  

Have you had your Ford F-150 or another vehicle stolen? Click the red Add New Comment link below and let us know your experience.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

Photo credit: Ford


Bill (not verified)    May 28, 2024 - 7:58AM

As an F150 owner, from my own experience, the anti theft system in these trucks are good. The downfall is the fact that the chip keys from different died vehicles just might actually work. I know this from running late n grabbing the wrong key on way out door one morning. It unlocked the door and started the truck. When I arrived at work n got to my locker is the moment I found my lock key not ion keyring cause it wasn't my key ring, it was my wife's. So I'm on phone asking my wife to bring me my keys when ahe came to town. I was unaware that the pats system that reads the chip I guess was repeated as much as the keys were. It's definitely understandable. Just wanted to put my experience on here so people with multiple Ford vehicles can pay more attention than I did