DALLAS, Texas — As the end of 2022 draws closer, motor vehicle thefts in Dallas are outpacing numbers from around this time last year.
Per data collected by the City of Dallas, there were 9,813 motor vehicle thefts recorded leading up to Nov. 4th, 2021. In 2022? That number is currently sitting at 11,203.
That's roughly a 14% increase. And according to the Dallas Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety, pickup trucks are the hot ticket item.
Granbury resident Bob Locke said he had no idea when he came to Dallas this week on business.
His 2021 Chevrolet Silverado was stolen after he parked and locked it at a nice hotel near SMU.
"All four doors were shut, and the vehicle was locked," Locke said. "I checked."
Locke made his way into the hotel to get some sleep, and when he got to his room, he hit the lock button on his key fob again for good measure since he overlooked the parking lot.
"My truck would not honk at me when I went to lock it," Locke said. Locke didn't think anything of it, so he went to bed, but when he got up to get his laptop out of his truck, it wasn't there anymore.
"My truck was gone, and I looked down on the ground, and there was this little black box sitting in the space," Locke said.
The thieves had ripped out the transmitter in Locke's truck that works his alarm and keyless entry for the truck.
That way, when the thieves tried to get in, no commotion or notifications would be made to Locke.
Somehow, they opened the door, started the truck, and took off.
Locke lost a laptop, two child car seats, and some sentimental items.
"It's a gut punch," Locke said. "There's a lot of worse things happening out there, but it's a gut punch."
In February, WFAA toured DPD's impound lot for recovered stolen vehicles, which was filled with pickup trucks.
At the time, the department told Senior Crime and Justice Reporter Rebecca Lopez the truck being stolen the most was the Chevy GM pickup from 2016 to 2018.
Trucks are a hot commodity due to their value, and chip shortages for new car computers being an issue still. Trucks are also being used illegally for human trafficking along the border.
Per the Texas Department of Public Safety, GM and Ford trucks were the top two stolen vehicles statewide for September, and Dodge trucks came in fourth behind the GM Tahoe.
Experts believe Chevrolets are targeted most because they're the easiest to get into. Thieves are learning to hack into OnStar to disable tracking and start the vehicle.
Locke suspects that might be how his truck was taken since there was no evidence of forced entry.
"It seems like everybody knows somebody now that's had a vehicle stolen recently in the Dallas area," Locke said.
A local dealership told WFAA that a steering wheel lock is the easiest and cheapest way to protect your truck. It's not a very pretty aesthetic, but it's time-consuming to remove, and thieves often don't have the luxury of time.
Locke said he plans on getting one for his next vehicle.
"Any other additional things you can do to prevent it from getting stolen...yeah, I recommend doing that now," Locke said.
A photo of Locke's truck is below. The license plate is PZT-2203 and it has mud flaps with "Idaho" written on them.