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Old 08-27-2006, 12:27 PM   #1
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Unhappy !!Warning for Ford PSD owners!!

My son's 2006 Ford F-35 PSD was stolen yesterday afternoon in broad daylight out of a restaurant parking lot. He and his girlfriend had just returned from a 2 week trip towing their SOB to the northwest and the truck had all their back packing gear, cameras, i-pods laptops and a new Subaru generator in the back under the camper shell. That's bad enough but the really horrifying thing is that the police told my son his truck was number 150 of Ford PSD stolen in the month of August in Albuquerque. The only thing that made the theft of his truck unusual is that it was the first one stolen in broad daylight--meaning the crooks are getting so good at it they don't need the cover of darkness anymore.

The restaurant parking lot had "security" cameras and the entire theft was captured on grainy video. It showed two men drive up in a brand new Dodge full size pickup. They parked behind my son's truck. One man got out, and with a slim-jim was in the truck in less than a minute. Another minute later both trucks are driving off.

So, how do they by-pass all the factory anti-theft stuff? In a very bitter irony, my son's best friend almost had his Ford PSD stolen just last week out of his driveway in the middle of the night. The crooks got spooked and the police found a laptop computer that the crooks used with a black market ignition switch. They slim-jim in through the door, know exactly where to break the steering column, insert this ignition and have some sort of a code on the lap top that figures out how to jam or by-pass all the electronic anti-theft stuff.

I don't know about the rest of you but I find it very disconcerting that there is auto theft of this level going on and only the victims know about it. Seems like it at least warrants a tiny article in the local papers so other people can take added precautions since the scumbags are targeting a specific vehicle. My son asked the police how many trucks they've recovered. None. How many auto theft detectives do they have? Two. Think about this. At an average of $40 to $60k per truck more than $7 million worth of theft occurs each month and the only thing the police could offer was to tell my son to make sure that his next truck is equipped with an anti-theft device that locks the brakes.

So, Airstream friends. Take this as a cautionary tale and protect your trucks with something besides the useless factory installed anti-theft stuff. And, for owners of other diesel rigs, I would say that just because the crooks are going after PSD right now doesn't mean they aren't right now figuring out how to steal other brands.
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Old 08-27-2006, 03:15 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu_Hwy_Lady

So, how do they by-pass all the factory anti-theft stuff?
... all the electronic anti-theft stuff.... useless factory installed anti-theft stuff. .
hi bhw sorry to read about the theft, but WHAT anti theft stuff? far as i know there isn't any on the 250s...

one of my surprizes when buying a truck last year
for the first time in 20+ years,
was the lack of antitheft stuff.
are the 06s different?
no kill switch, on starter disable, no tank shut off...no alarm really.
just the panic horn honk thing....that most have come to ignore.
my first drive was to an aftermarket shop
that sells a variety of this stuff...
as i recall the ford dealer did have an alarm system available...
in the bedliner, shell and mud flap sales departement...

again sorry for your son and thanks for the psa.
2air'
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Old 08-27-2006, 05:17 PM   #3
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That's what I meant about "useless". The panic horn thingy is what they consider anti-theft. On my Explorer there's a little red light that flashes "anti-theft" woooo scary if you're a thief.

I hope that other folks here think about protecting their investment with aftermarket anti-theft stuff as you did. However, worse than losing the truck for my son was losing the stuff in it like his deceased father's fishing gear and cameras with pictures of their trip.
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Old 08-27-2006, 05:28 PM   #4
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Well mine is one of the older PSD's...1996 so hopefully it is not too desirable. I thought the new generation F250's had the key with the microchip thingie in it? Or is that what they are using the laptop to defeat? I used to use "THE CLUB" steering wheel lock in my MG's...those could be hot wired with a quarter

Sorry to hear about your son's truck, hopefully you will find it or the stuff.

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Old 08-27-2006, 05:46 PM   #5
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I'm sorry to hear about this loss

Let my share some perspective on this big business of Auto Theft:

In 2004 Maricopa County- (all of metro phoenix/Scottsdale/mesa/ Tempe/ chandler etc.)
41,446 vehicles were stolen! That represented 76% of Arizona's auto thefts

My '05 F250 PSD came with NO anti-theft devices off the lot. So like 2air my new truck went straight to a qualified installer... After a lot of research I learned a lot while shopping for anti-theft devices..
There is no such thing as a true anti-theft device. If someone really wants your truck or car they'll steal it. But the one thing you can buy is TIME..Do this by putting in layers of security... each layer takes time to crack...and they want to get in and get out quick.... you know gone in 60 seconds....An aftermarket alarm and ignition kill is a good start. The most important part of the aftermarket alarm is the installation. If you go to one of these one dollar install places they will not even bother hiding the wires. Which makes your alarm useless if the wires are hanging in plain sight... All the car thieves know which wires are for the alarm. A good installer should have many years of experience, be just shady enough to think like a thief and will know how to hide the wires between the factory wires under your dash and rewrap them to look just like the factory install. This will take the thief a lot of time to sort through to get to the alarm wires and cut...There are many other layers you can add steering wheel locks, hood locks, secondary remote kill switches, a big guard dog, a shotgun....lojack (as if you really want it back after some slim ball uses your vehicle for who knows what) But in the end your best defense is comprehensive insurance.
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Old 08-27-2006, 05:47 PM   #6
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Without going into great detail, in case there is still a potential thief out there that doesn't know how to do it, the key has a chip in it that needs to be recognized by a magnetic sensor around the igntition lock. This is what can be defeated with the "right" program in a laptop. Depending on the laptop, the correct code can be sent to the truck's on-board computer in about 15 seconds. I could tell you what the wrong key would do to keep the truck from being started, but then I would have to kill you.
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Old 08-27-2006, 06:00 PM   #7
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.................Several years previous , 60 minutes took a secret film crew across the border from either Nogales or El Paso and started looking for stolen vehicles with license plates from the USA . They found them by the bakers dozen , parked in front of the Federales policia headquarters and some others in different locations . All still had their respective state license plates just as they would have had , had they been in possession by their rightful owners . When 60 minutes confronted a mexican\thief\cop and asked for an explanation , they were advised too leave Mexico ASAP or they would be promptly thrown in jail . It wouldn't surprise me at all if these vehicles are being taken to Old mexico for resale . r66
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Old 08-27-2006, 06:08 PM   #8
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A terrible event to be sure ,you have to go back to the old days of anti theft measures ,such as a kill switch that interupts the starter key on crank wire,
another to interupt the fuel pump key on power wire to it also.Those two
deterents alone will stop the diesel from running .No PC laptop can do anything about that .Even if they went under the truck to bypass the starter,they still need the fuel pump to run.Another device to be installed
would be a fuel cutoff soleniod somewhere in the fuel system ,also to prevent
fuel from even getting to the engine.These types of Hard Deterents as I
call them,are going to be a must have in a world where vehicals such as
the psd trucks can be taken so easily .The ignition could be cycled on all day long ,they still can't start the truck.

We are sorry for the loss

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Old 08-27-2006, 08:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by route66
.................Several years previous , 60 minutes took a secret film crew across the border from either Nogales or El Paso and started looking for stolen vehicles with license plates from the USA . They found them by the bakers dozen , parked in front of the Federales policia headquarters and some others in different locations . All still had their respective state license plates just as they would have had , had they been in possession by their rightful owners . When 60 minutes confronted a mexican\thief\cop and asked for an explanation , they were advised too leave Mexico ASAP or they would be promptly thrown in jail . It wouldn't surprise me at all if these vehicles are being taken to Old mexico for resale . r66
This is the key to it. MEXICO is the problem.

This is the exact same scenario played out for a neighbor about two weeks ago. F350 PSD crew cab long bed stolen right out of his driveway in broad daylight. (Just for the record, we've never had any type of crime in our neighborhood, it's the kind of place where nothing much exciting happens) Cops (obvious) think it's just another professional job to send yet another one south of the border. BUT, we don't have any border problems or anything. Mexico is our friend.

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Old 08-27-2006, 09:14 PM   #10
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Living in New Orleans, I heard the other day that Mexicans are buying wrecked "Katrina Cars" by the thousands and mildly fixing them for re-sale in Mexico. Another told me that for people with Gap insurance...there were multiple thugs to go to where for $150 they would make your car disappear and you get out of your loan for only $150.
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Old 08-27-2006, 09:17 PM   #11
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As huge a lobbying interest as the insurance industry has, why aren't they raising hell in Washington about this?

I get a monthly magazine from my insurance company that has advice about preventing the theft of my vehicle. It subtly implies that if my truck is stolen, it's my fault - not the thieve's.

It's ridiculous that they, the cops, we, and everybody else know where the trucks are going, and nobody seems to be doing anything about it.

Or is it? What remains unseen and unconsidered here?

Lamar
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Old 08-27-2006, 09:35 PM   #12
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Ben, you're back! Semper Paratus (did I spell that right?) Haven't seen you post lately. How's the Coastie life?

What makes matters worse here folks, is that it is actually legal to "export" "untitled" cars overseas. I have a good friend who works for one of the nationwide "junkyards". They have several customers that buy "junk cars", "repair" them and send them "overseas". No room for fraud there, is there?

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Old 08-27-2006, 09:41 PM   #13
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As huge a lobbying interest as the insurance industry has, why aren't they raising hell in Washington about this?

Lamar
Because they are pencil pushing bureaucrats. Consumer claims equal a raise in rates. Why deal with the actual probems when you can simply pass the costs on the consumer and hide your head in the sand? That would require actual thinking and work on the part of the insurance companies AND the government. A scary combination, don't you think?

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Old 08-27-2006, 09:42 PM   #14
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+Another one headed South

I also had a new truck stolen. It was in a guarded, lighted, Airport (McAllen, TX) parking lot. It had electronic security disable and a "Club." Sound like overkill? You have to live on, or near, the Border to appreciate that necessity. At the risk of the rath of the "other Airstream" web site...... I say it problably went to Mexico without me.
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Old 08-27-2006, 10:28 PM   #15
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Thanks for the concern for my son's loss and the anti-theft protection ideas. Unfortnately, Melody Ranch really proved that there's not really much you can do if somebody wants your vehicle. The police told my son that they believe the trucks are being parted out and sent to Mexico in pieces rather than in total. They speculated that the vehicles are stockpiled in a warehouse before they are shipped off to Mexico. Again, the worst part of the loss was not the truck, but the things in it, particularly his deceased father's fishing gear.

The really alarming thing to me is how easy it is for crooks to steal these high-end vehicles with only two auto theft detectives for a city the size of Albuquerque. And yet the speed traps are well staffed with police. This may get me flamed, but I think the cops should be dealing with real crime not building the revenue of the city through traffic citations. I was in Peru this summer and there are no traffic police. In fact, there aren't even any traffic lights (except in Lima) or speed limits. It looks like terrifying chaos, but the interesting thing is that I never saw an accident nor did I see any near hits. It really made me re-evaluate the "safety" aspect of ticketing drivers. Me, I'd rather have the police going after criminals not common citizens.
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Old 09-07-2006, 03:09 PM   #16
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Meloday, sorry about your truck. We live here, the MFE parking lot is one of the known hot spots for truck theft.

We almost had ours taken, but I went back out for something and walked up on them. The dog in the cab also served as a good deterrent.

Here's a clever trick I learned from my neighbor - take certain key fuses with you.
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Old 09-07-2006, 04:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Without going into great detail, in case there is still a potential thief out there that doesn't know how to do it, the key has a chip in it that needs to be recognized by a magnetic sensor around the igntition lock. This is what can be defeated with the "right" program in a laptop. Depending on the laptop, the correct code can be sent to the truck's on-board computer in about 15 seconds. I could tell you what the wrong key would do to keep the truck from being started, but then I would have to kill you.
I'll tell you what the wrong key will do to keep the truck from being started and I won't kill you...it disables the fuel pump.

I have an '05 F-250 PSD that I drive to work every day and park in a deck near my office at the entrance to Underground Atlanta. A couple of weeks ago stupid me left my digital camera on the passenger seat. I had used it the day before and set my brief case on it and didn't see it when I got home or when I got out of the truck the next morning in the parking garage. That afternoon when I got home and parked, my foot came to rest on a Ford key to another vehicle I had left in the cup holder in the console. My first reaction was that I hadn't hit any bumps hard enough for it to bounce out of the cup holder. When I picked it up I had one of those "something just didn't look right" feelings and I moved my brief case. Yes, the digital camera was gone and there was a black grease smear on the leather seat. I figured that the thief had tried the key in the ignition and when it didn't work he/she (let's be politically correct here) dropped it and grabed the camera. I thought the grease probably came from the culpret disabling the alarm under the hood or pulling a fuse under the dash. But it still worked when I locked the doors.

The next day I filed a police report so I can take a capital loss on my taxes (per an accountant in our office) and the police officer told me how the thief got into the truck. I looked and he was right. The thief took a flat bladed screw driver and placed it at the base of the surround around flush door handle and struck it dislodging the surround and reached up through the opening that was created by moving the surround and pushed up on the locking mechanism. There was a scratch in the paint and a small flat dent at the bottom of the surround on the passenger's side door.

I called my Ford dealer and asked my service rep why the alarm didn't sound the beeps that my wife's Expedition does when the alarm has been tripped. He said that Ford hasn't put a true burglar alarm in new vehicles in several years. The factory anti-theft device that is installed by Ford sounds the horn and flashes the lights like an alarm only when you activate it with the key fob and will sound an alarm if the panic button is pressed, but the only other thing it does is to disable the fuel pump if the lock button is pressed twice and the horn sounds to let you know you de-activated the fuel pump. Only the correct key will re-activate the fuel pump when inserted in the ignition switch. It is designed to protect the vehicle from being stolen, not the contents. He also told me that the door handle was one of the re-design criteria in part of the fleetwide re-design of each Ford vehicle as they come up for re-design. Needless to say I was disappointed.

BTW, the cashier at the parking deck told me that a Navigator had been broken into in my parking garage the same day. The police officer that took my report told me that this was the method that thieves use in that area to break into alot of Ford trucks and Suburbans. I noticed that nearly all American made products I saw on my way home and several imports had a similar plastic surround around the door handles wheather flush or not.

An alarm might not prevent damage to the door of your vehicle, but it going off when the door is opened might scare off a would-be car theif.
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:15 PM   #18
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MM,
Sorry to hear about your truck break-in. You described exactly what happened to my business partnerís truck a couple of months ago. The cop told his wife that punching out the lock as you described is very easy and makes little noise. It happened early evening in the mall parking lot during day light hours. They did not get his Harley F250.. The greatest benefit to an alarm with ignition disable is it makes a lot of noise and takes more time. I also use the club for a second layer of protection. All of these things don't necessarily prevent any theft they just make it a little harder hopefully making my vehicle a little less attractive. I sure would like to avoid a theft it's a pain in the butt I've already had one vehicle stolen in my life and don't want to go through it again.
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Old 09-07-2006, 06:47 PM   #19
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There is only one way to put a stop to these kinds of thefts. Insurance companies need get together with the police and set up decoy vehicles in parking lots with known problems. Then set traps. Yeah, I know "entrapment" is not legal, but when you have crimes of epidemic proportions, like car and truck thefts in a city like Phoenix, the desperate measures must be taken.

I know it might deflate a lot of PSD owners egos, but if I was in a high crime area that had a lot of Duramax thefts, I would think nothing of getting out the heat gun and taking off the "Duramax Diesel" emblems off the door. Might even go as far as rebadging it as a 1500, whatever it takes.
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:31 AM   #20
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When I recently bought my F-250 PSD, I paid extra to leave in the dealer-installed security system (alarm with starter disable) since I knew my vehicle would be at risk since I live in Southern California and I had just read this thread. I also routinely use "The Club" and I plan to get Lo Jack. Suggestions on this thread include establishing layers of protection to slow down or deter a thief.
  1. Has anyone here tried using a heavy-duty padded motorcycle security chain around the steering wheel and through the door handle (requiring exiting vehicle through passenger door)?
  2. Does anyone have any other good and effective anti-theft devices not mentioned here so far?
Thanks,
Bill
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