The National Insurance Crime Bureau is showing some eye-opening figures of increased full size pickup tailgate theft from trucks and lift gates theft from SUV’s in the past five years. Documentation shows that cities like Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Antonio have higher rates of incidences. The top 5 states for reported tailgate thefts are Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania, California and Texas. The number of thefts may not be totally accurate according to these statistics because many may go unreported to insurance companies or police authorities. Therefore, the numbers are most likely higher than documented.
A new unpainted tailgate for a 2015 pickup costs around $1,300, which might explain the demand on the illegal market for stolen tailgates. Shopping mall and grocery store parking lots are prime targets for tailgate theft, which can actually be accomplished in a short amount of time by thieves who are common to the practice. Car dealerships have also been known to be frequently targeted, in spite of the use of security cameras.
If you park your car in your driveway overnight, the less room you leave behind your pickup, the less access the crooks have to get at the back end quickly and easily. This may be a deterrent. Also, you should always back your truck in tight against a building whenever possible, giving less opportunity to get to the tailgate. . If there is no room to open the tailgate, they can’t steal it. Leaving your pickup on the street or in a short driveway close to the street will make your truck more of a target for tailgate theft. If you have no garage and have 2 vehicles, always park the car directly behind the truck. Street lights and motion detection lights are good deterrents also.
Why would someone want to steal your tailgate? There is a vast underground market that preys on specific items that have a high rate of replacement cost for the owner of the vehicle. You’ve no doubt heard stories of tires and radiators being stolen from cars and trucks. These thieves are looking to make money on selling what they steal either by reselling it to body shops or simply selling it for the scrap metal value, so it is not just the shiny new trucks the thieves go after. There continues to be a nationwide problem with metal theft. Body shops can get more profit on a stolen tailgate that they paint to look like new, than from one they order from a manufacturer, or even a junkyard, so ultimately it’s all about the bottom line.
How do you protect yourself from being a victim of tailgate theft? Many newer pickups already have locking tailgate handles with a keyed lock to prevent, or at least dissuade thieves from making you a victim. You can purchase a replacement locking handle to replace the factory one, or if your truck doesn’t have one, but you have to discipline yourself to lock it every time you leave your truck. Some truck models do not offer this option. Other truck owners swear by using a hose clamp on the slotted tailgate hinge. It’s not quite as secure as a lock, but unless the thief has a screwdriver handy in anticipation of the hose clamp being there, it would be enough of a deterrent to make him move on to another victim.
Truck owners love their pickups so why not give yourself every advantage and secure your tailgate from being stolen. It will save you many headaches and thousands of dollars to replace it. Don’t make it easy for the bad guys, make it impossible. Cruise on over to www.truckworldaccessories.com and leave me a comment on what measure you take to protect your pickup tailgate.