Lock stars: Pickup tailgate theft on the rise

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Updated Aug 18, 2014

Tailgate Theft video grabLOCK IT OR LOSE IT: Tailgate Theft

A trend in pickup thefts is on the rise at an alarming rate, and it might not be a trend that you would expect. 

A recent nationwide tally of tailgate theft insurance claims rose 18 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the number of thefts has grown every year since 2008.

Replacement tailgates can command anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000, making them a hot commodity in back alley garage transactions where they’re sold for a fraction of that.

The list of most targeted tailgates are headlined by what you would expect: Ford’s F-Series and Chevy’s Silverado. 

Tailgates are popular targets because they rarely have any identifying marks and can be removed quickly – in some cases in less than a minute and without the use of tools. 

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Many newer model trucks are now equipped with tailgate locks, but their prevalence in theft has spawned a cottage industry of theft deterrents. 

Depending on the make and model of your truck, you can secure your tailgate with a manual lock for around $50 or less. In some cases, a lot less. Masterlock makes one that will set you back $20 or less. It features a self-ratcheting mechanism that fits over the hinge. Installation takes about 5 seconds.