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Ford F-250 tops Cadillac Escalade for highest theft rate

A 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV on display at

A 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV on display at the 2012 Pittsburgh Auto Show. (Feb. 16, 2012) (Credit: AP)

For the first time in a decade the Cadillac Escalade is not the vehicle with the highest theft rate in the U.S.

Known for its popularity among rappers and athletes, the Escalade had maintained a theft rate of about 11 claims per 1,000 insured vehicle years since first taking hold of the top spot in 2003.

But among 2010 through 2012 model-year vehicles, the Ford F-250 — a pickup truck more likely to be associated with backbreaking work than bling bling — had the most reported theft claims, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Highway Loss Data Institute. Its owners issued 7 theft claims per 1,000 insured years.

In fact the latest list, released today, has four pickups among the five most likely to be stolen from, or stolen outright (see the complete list below). The HDLI noted that its report does not differentiate between theft of contents within a vehicle, vehicle parts or the vehicle as a whole. As a result, it's possible that pickup truck theft claims are highest because its owners are victimized by burglaries from the vehicles' open flatbeds.

Meanwhile, Matt Moore, the vice president of HLDI, offered two reasons why Escalades may have fallen from the top spot.

"General Motors has put a lot of effort into new anti-theft technology, so that may help explain the decline in the Escalade's theft rate," Moore said in a statement. "On the other hand, sales of the Escalade have fallen in recent years, so there may be less of a market for stolen Escalades or Escalade parts."

Tags: Cadillac Escalade , Ford F-250 , auto thefts , car thefts , crime , Insurance Institute for Highway Safety , Highway Loss Data Institute

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