According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, thousands of cars are stolen in the state of Texas each year. The top stolen vehicle? The Ford F150.In fact, the top 3 most stolen vehicles in Texas are all pickup trucks…in Texas?…go figure. Of the top ten most stolen vehicles, the Taurus comes in at number 9.That can’t be right.I’ve rented one of those at the airport. Couldn’t get it past 50mph on the turnpike.No one in their right mind would steal one of those…please don’t waste my time!

Almost half of all vehicles stolen had the keys left inside.The “You Hold the Key” program has a simple message – never leave your keys in your car. Every year, thousands of cars are stolen because owners give thieves an easy target. Not to mention, leaving keys in your vehicle is illegal. Not only is it illegal to leave your keys in your unattended vehicle, but if your vehicle is stolen with the keys in it, your insurance company may not cover your loss.

And never leave your car running unattended. Cars are often stolen at convenience stores, gas stations or when an owner leaves the vehicle running to warm it up. A funny story (funny to me, sad to the guy it happened to) comes to mind.I know a guy who pulled into a mini mart in Fort Worth for a pack of smokes. It was mid-Summer and very hot out. So he wanted to leave his car running and the a/c cranking while he ran in.There were two cops leaning on their squad cars in the parking lot, having a chat.He pulled right between them.Thinking “what better place to leave my car running, unattended, but between two law enforcement officers”.He goes in, gets the smokes.Comes back out.Gets in his car.It’s not running.The keys are not in the ignition.The cop danges the keys in the window…and gives him a $325.00 fine for leaving his car running, unattended.End of story.

Before I was told that story, I used to leave my dog in the car with the a/c cranked, windows up, park brake on, doors locked…while I went on errands.Not like full-on grocery shopping.But, perhaps to 7-11 to get a gallon of milk.Thinking I’d be in there for two minutes, tops.And then someone writes a check and you’re in there for two hours.Who the hell writes checks anymore?Damn! So, I never knew it was against the law. But it just makes sense.

To combat this, they have created a link on their website to educate the public about what they can do to lessen their chances of being a victim

And, I know you’re just dying to know what the top 10 most stolen vehicles are in Texas for 2010.Sorry to leave you hanging…

1 Ford Pickup, 2 Chevrolet Pickup, 3 Dodge Pickup, 4 Chevrolet Tahoe, 5 Honda Civic, 6 Honda Accord, 7 GMC Pickup, 8 Toyota Camry, 9 Ford Taurus, 10 Chevrolet Impala

Until next week. I’ll miss you. And, remember…you hold the key!

Daun Thompson

( Daun Thompson is a comedienne, artist, writer and lightning rod of reality )