Car thefts: Stolen truck hits telephone poles, knocks out transformer

An Austin man can’t believe the journey his truck went on after being stolen in March. This comes as the number of auto thefts in Austin, and around the country, are on the rise.

The number of auto thefts in Austin is up almost 18 percent this March compared to last March with almost 1,500.

"I’m not too surprised this happened," Austin resident Nathan Ramseyer said.

In March, Ramseyer fell victim. He said he left his truck in the parking garage on South Lamar Boulevard over the weekend.


"Came back home Monday morning before work, and it wasn’t there," Ramseyer said. "Key fob in hand, I had everything, so I’m not quite for sure how they got into the vehicle, it’s alarming."

He said he reported it to the Austin Police Department and hoped it would be found. His truck was found, but Ramseyer was shocked to see what it looked like.

"It was unbelievable to see the condition it was in, being that it was brand-new truck and seeing the amount of contents in it from pretty much smash and grabs from people’s vehicles, from their ID’s, social security cards, about 30 phones, tablets, you name it, so I feel bad for people who lost their belongings," Ramseyer said.

What Ramseyer didn’t know then was his car had been on a journey, and it was caught on camera.

"It ended up going to the East side, hitting two telephone poles, knocking out a transformer, and knocking out power to about 4,000 people," Ramseyer said.

Ramseyer said he’s since gotten a new truck, but it hit the pocketbook hard, and he’s not the only one dealing with this problem.

"I’ve had about 4 other friends in this area alone that have had their vehicles stolen as well," Ramseyer said.

Ramseyer’s truck was a Toyota Takoma which is not on the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s list of most cars stolen in Texas. The top are Chevrolet and Ford pickup trucks, followed by Sedans.

The NICB reported more than 1 million vehicles in the U.S. were stolen last year, a 7 percent increase over 2021.

"Seeing what’s happening in our area, it’s kind of bothersome," Ramseyer said.

Experts said a few ways to discourage thieves from stealing your car:

  • Keep your car locked at all times
  • Never leave the keys in the vehicle
  • Make sure valuables are not visible
  • Don’t leave the title in the vehicle
  • Park in well-lit and well-known areas