Auto theft detectives in North Texas are investigating a significant upsurge in the number of stolen high-end pickups.
"We're pretty sure it's an organized ring," said Sgt. Matt Pedersen, of the Tarrant Regional Auto Crimes Task Force. "We don't think these are joyriders."
Since February, detectives have noticed a rash of stolen heavy pickups, such as Ford F-250s and F-350s, Pedersen said.
"There's actually been so few recoveries," he said. "We think they might be dismantled locally or they might be heading to South Texas to be used to smuggle drugs or humans or weapons."
Monty Lamb recently woke up to find his F-350 stolen from in front of his Euless home.
"I kind of did a double-take," he said. "I'm like, 'No, no, I know I parked it over there.'"
His pickup was found about 24 hours later in Fort Worth -- minus the expensive tools he used in his plumbing, heating, cooling and electric business.
"It's frustrating at the very least," Lamb said.
The thieves also damaged the ignition and the lock on his door.
Lamb said he was glad to get his pickup back and hopes police track down the thieves soon.
"Everybody's luck runs out eventually," he said. "Mine ran out a little before theirs did."