Auto thieves target some Ford F-250s, F-350s

EVERETT — Auto thieves in Snohomish County are finding an easy mark these days in the form of older model full-sized Ford pickup trucks.

In April, there were more than 20 reports of stolen Ford pickup trucks between Everett and Arlington, according to court records filed in connection with a recent auto theft case.

“It is continuing in May,” said Sgt. Jason Longoria, a Washington State Patrol trooper who heads the Snohomish County Auto Theft Task Force. “We have seen thefts from Auburn all the way up to Bellingham, These people are traveling all over the place to steal 250s and 350s.”

Owners of full-size Ford F-250 and F-350 pickups made between 2000 and 2006 should be alert to the rash of thefts because their vehicles can be stolen in less than 30 seconds, he said.

“A group of local car thieves has figured this out,” he said. “This has been a problem in other parts of the country and it finally has hit our area.”

The theft of a 2002 Ford F-350 pickup last week led to a police chase from Marysville to Everett. Kevin Diltz, 30, allegedly fired at least three shots at a Marysville police officer after abandoning the truck in north Everett. He later was arrested at gunpoint.

The older F-250s and F-350s don’t have the enhanced anti-theft protections of newer models and car thieves know that. Longoria didn’t get into specifics, saying he didn’t want to provide how-to tips to criminals.

Many of the stolen pickups are stripped for tires and auto parts. Some merely are taken for joy rides. Often, they are targeted for the tool box or equipment that may be in the truck bed.

In some cases, the thieves steal the trucks so they can haul goods away during burglaries.

Such was the case in Marysville last month.

The auto theft task force recently arrested a Lake Stevens man, 33, who was driving a Ford pickup that he allegedly admitted he knew was stolen. He and his girlfriend had taken the truck for a drive in the snow on Green Mountain east of Granite Falls, court records said. The truck got stuck and they spent a night on Green Mountain.

Auto theft task force members caught up with the couple the next day.

The girlfriend later was found to be in possession of another stolen Ford pickup, court papers said.

The stolen trucks allegedly were used to haul two stolen motorcycles and to plunder storage units in Marysville in April.

Last week, the Lake Stevens man parked behind a detective’s vehicle, allegedly in an attempt to block the officer from catching up with another suspect who raced by in a stolen black Ford F-350. That F-350 later was recovered.

Longoria recommends owners of the older full-sized Ford pickups park in garages and think about buying vehicle immobilizer equipment.

He also suggests installing a GPS system or a stolen-vehicle recovery unit that uses an unmarked radio frequency transceiver for tracking purposes.

Local law enforcement agencies are keeping watch for more pickup thieves.

“They are taking property from good honest citizens,” Longoria said.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Bicycle tour raises money for dialysis patients

Volunteers also shared health information and put together care packages for homeless women.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

Boeing reaches out to schools

Company employees helped Everett students at recent reading and Manufacturing Day events.

5-vehicle collision sends school bus into ditch; no injuries

No students were hurt when a school bus crashed into… Continue reading

Fire crew returns early from wildfires in Northern California

Four Everett firefighters returned from battling California wildfires late Thursday… Continue reading

Theft lands former insurance salesman 50 days in jail

A former insurance salesman is expected to report to jail… Continue reading

Pair of intrepid musicians climb N. Cascades summits to play

Rose Freeman and Anastasia Allison pack their instruments up mountains for high-altitude recitals.

Everett mayoral campaign is one of the priciest ever

Many campaign donors are giving to both Cassie Franklin and Judy Tuohy.

Herald columnist Julie Muhlstein (left) and Elizabeth Reed, of Snohomish, share something humorous during an interview at Reed’s Snohomish High School Class of 1942 reunion in September 2016. Muhlstein is marking 20 years as a columnist, with about 3,000 of them published in The Herald. Counting her early days as a reporter and editor, she has been with The Herald for 36 years. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
3,000 stories in 20 years: Here are some of my favorites

As a Daily Herald columnist, I’ve met remarkable people and learned much since 1997.

Most Read