Is Your Truck’s Tailgate Theft-Proof?February 11th, 2014 by David
Recent surges in the theft of truck tailgates nationwide are spurring owners to look for deterrents. There’s a growing demand for tailgates on the black market – especially ones equipped with rear backup cameras. They are valuable parts that thieves can easily remove in about 30 seconds.
Among the most popular trucks targeted are Toyotas, Fords, Chevrolets, and Dodges. Because they don’t have ID numbers, tailgates are highly coveted and nearly impossible to trace even if they are eventually recovered. Residential and business areas alike are being victimized at a startling rate and dealer lots as well as private driveways are vulnerable to theft.
Texas and California top the list of states with most tailgate thefts. Along with catalytic converters, reports of tailgate thefts have risen steadily for the past five years. Truck owners not only feel violated when tailgates go missing, there’s a hefty price to replace one. Replacing a tailgate can cost thousands of dollars and really adds up when you tally in painting and assembling.
Some of the measures to take to protect your tailgate from being stolen are common sense. First and foremost is keeping your tailgate locked. Off-street parking in a garage keeps your truck safe from potential crime, although public garages are not foolproof. Parking in a spot that blocks the tailgate from actually being opened is another solution. A tailgate lock located at the pivot point or a hose clamp can stop potential thieves.
One drawback is that stealing a tailgate is not classified as grand theft so the penalties for those caught are not as stiff. Owners can take the precaution of marking their tailgates with VINs or Drivers’ License numbers to help law enforcement officers link retrieved parts back to their owners.
Following these deterrents will have your truck ready to tailgate at the next sporting event you attend.