Pickup Thefts Soar in Amarillo

They are popular to drive.

But NewsChannel 10 found out, they're also popular to steal.

Pickup truck thefts are up in Amarillo.

So much so, our sources tell us we're speeding to beat last year's crime figures.

Chevy's like this are the prime target...

And one Amarillo man found that out just this morning.

"Came outside this morning to take my daughter to school and noticed that my truck was missing," says Jamie Stephens.

There's no sign of Jamie Stephens' '84 Chevy...

Just glass from a broken window.

"I feel a little violated," he says.

He's not alone.

"That's one of your top stolen vehicles," says Sgt. Randy TenBrink, with the Amarillo Police Dept.

In just 67 days crooks have taken off with 88 pickups...

That's more than one a day!

"If what we're seeing now holds we can expect that to do nothing but climb," says TenBrink.

Climb higher than these figures from 2006...

289 pickups stolen between January and December.

"People in Texas want trucks, number one to drive, number two for parts," he says.

Police also say they are recovering more of the stolen vehicles...

And Stephens is hopeful he could get his Chevy back.

In the meantime, he's going to be more alert.

"It changes the way you pay attention to what's going around you more after something like that has happened," says Stephens.

There are measures you can take to protect your pickup...

For one, don't try and hide a spare key in the vehicle...

Second, don't leave it running even for a moment.

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