If the Ford Escape Hybrid is "The Candidate's Choice," then the automaker's big, bad Super Duty trucks are "The Smuggler's Choice." You see, unfortunately for truck owners, drug and human traffickers are "choosing" to steal them from the public to use in their nefarious endeavors. The reasons are simple: they're big (plenty of contraband can be carried), rugged (they can handle running off-road in the border areas), powerful (handy when running from the police), and apparently easy to make off with (they can be "stolen with a screwdriver" according to the Houston PD). In 2007, 1,245 F-250 and F-350 Super Duties vanished from Houston driveways, a forty percent increase over 2006, and notable when you consider overall car thefts in the city were down. In response, Ford is enhancing vehicle security by using keys embedded with chips required to activate new 2008 trucks' electronic ignition systems. Of course, that may not help win back former owners whose trucks have already been stolen. The Chronicle article tells of one victim whose actions spoke volumes. He switched to Chevy.
[Source: The Houston Chronicle]