Protecting a tailgate from theft is cheap and easy.
How-to videos on tailgate security on YouTube range anywhere from using a simple hose clamp to installing a keyed lock.
While attaching a hose clamp is the cheapest way to guard against theft, it doesn’t make for convenient tailgate removal.
The Master Lock 8253, McGard 76029 and Pop & Lock PL9900 offer lock and key protection for under $30. Adapters are available to ensure a proper fit with smaller trucks.
The Gate Keeper is a bolt-on device that covers the tailgate hinge points and prevents easy removal. The Gate Keeper, which also sells for under $30, is not a lock—the covers must be unbolted first before the tailgate can be removed.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends protecting against tailgate theft.
“Replacing a tailgate is expensive. A new one from the manufacturer of a popular 2015 pickup truck is about $1,300 with even higher costs for some variants,” a recent NICB report on tailgate theft states. “That helps explain why there is a thriving underground market for vehicle parts, a market fed with parts removed from stolen vehicles.”