Tailgate Thefts Rise: Lock it or Lose it

Tailgate theft lock it

Tailgates Top Target For Thieves


by Bruce W. Smith

$1,000 gone in 30 seconds.

That’s how long it takes to have the tailgate stolen off your pickup and what it’ll cost to have it replaced.

Stealing tailgates is a growing concern, especially in Texas, California, Arizona and Florida.

You don’t hear much about pickup tailgate thieves in insurance industry reports because the majority of victims either are affraid  their insurance policies will rise if the theft is reported — or the deductible is about the price of a new tailgate.

But the numbers are there.

According to the latest report from the National Insurance Crime  Bureau (NICB), which keeps tabs on such things, tailgate thefts are rising every year.

Last year there were more than 250 tailgate thefts reported according to Dallas police. That number is expected to be about the same this year.

The popularity of tailgate lifting is they cost $1,000-$4,000 to replace when damaged because they don’t come pre-painted and the more expensive ones have a backup camera mounted in them.

Tailgates don’t have ID or VIN numbers. So thieves sell them at scrap yards, on Craigslist, or through other means. It’s fast, easy money.

The most popular trucks targeted are late-model full-size pickups.

To keep your truck’s tailgate where it belongs we offer these four tips for theft prevention:

  • Use the integrated tailgate lock if your pickup has that option.
  • Install an aftermarket tailgate lock.
  • Park your truck close to a wall or other object so the tailgate can’t be opened enough to remove it.
  • Inscribe an ID or your truck’s VIN number somewhere on the tailgate so it can be identified if found.