If you own a Cadillac Escalade, you can breathe a little easier. After years of being the vehicle with the most insurance theft claims, the luxury large SUV is no longer the preferred target of car thieves. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, the Ford F-250 is now the vehicle most likely to be involved in car insurance theft claims. In fact, the HLDI reports that the F-250 has theft claims at a rate that's six times the average rate for all vehicles.

The Ford F-250
The Ford F-250 (Ford Motor Company)

Large pickup trucks and SUVs are still the favorite targets of car thieves, but the HLDI reports that, overall, the rate of vehicle thefts is declining. The institute credits ignition immobilizers, which are standard on 89 percent of 2012 model-year vehicles, for the drop. "Fewer pickups than cars or SUVs have the feature as standard, which may help explain the higher theft rates for pickups," says the HLDI.

The HLDI compiles its list of most-stolen vehicles from insurance claims on vehicles from the past three model years and notes, "Many pickup claims result from the theft of equipment from the truck bed, and that may be the case with some of the F-250 claims. HLDI's data don't distinguish theft of vehicle contents or components from theft of a whole vehicle."

According to the HLDI, vehicles with the highest insurance theft claims include the Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Avalanche, GMC Sierra and Ford F-350. Vehicles with the lowest claims include the Dodge Journey, Volkswagen Tiguan, Audi A4 and Acura RDX.

To prevent vehicle theft, it's always a good idea to park in a well-lit, highly visible area. If your car didn't come standard with an ignition immobilizer, which prevents thieves from hot-wiring a car, you can have one installed. When you leave your car, make sure valuables are secured out of sight. If you drive a pickup, a lockable tool box, tonneau cover or bed cap can keep your gear safer.

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