Tailgate thefts are frustrating because they’re relatively easy to prevent.
Still, pickup owners in Southern California are learning the hard way as police there warn of a rise in tailgate thefts.
Toyota pickups are being targeted in particular.
Burbank Police put out a press release stating that recent tailgate thefts have occurred mostly on Toyota pickups model years 2011 to 2014. Specific models are not mentioned.
“Tailgates without a locking mechanism are easily removed and can cost up to $3,000 to replace,” Sergeant Derrick Green said. “The majority of tailgates are not marked or labeled with identification numbers, making it difficult to identify and return, if recovered.”
Burbank PD offers up some advice on preventing tailgate thefts:
- Permanently etch your tailgate with your driver license number, vehicle license plate number, and/or vehicle identification number. This will help law enforcement identify and return it to you, if it’s recovered.
- If your tailgate is not equipped with a lock, attach a hose clamp or after-market lock around the pivot point of the tailgate. There are several resources available online that explain this process.
- When home, park your truck behind a gate or inside of a garage, if possible. If you live in an apartment complex, utilize a secure parking garage, if available.
- Whenever possible, park your truck in a position that prevents someone from opening the tailgate, like against a gate or a wall.
- Consider installing motion-sensing lights covering the area where you park your truck.
- Video surveillance cameras are a great tool and resource that can help the police identify suspects involved in criminal activity. They also act as a good crime deterrent.
Whatever route you take, just get in the habit of taking preventive steps to deter thieves.