Pickup Tailgate Theft on The Rise in U.S.

Sep 04, 2014 01:20 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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Pickup truck drivers may want to watch their backs: tailgate theft is on the rise despite advancements made in anti-theft devices.

Tailgates are being stolen from private vehicles, vehicles parked in dealer lots, and commercial vehicles, the National Insurance Crime Bureau said, so it seems no one is safe.

Houston was named the most likely place to get your tailgate stolen, while Texas was the state with the most reported thefts overall, the insurance bureau reported, according to The Los Angeles Times.

California and Arizona came in at second and third, respectively. The three states combines represented 67 percent of the total claims.

The number of tailgates stolen increased 31 percent from 2012 to 2013, the insurance bureau reported.

Though just 1,090 claims have been made, the bureau believes that the frequency of thefts probably is underreported due to the way the auto industry collects and labels information.

The pricey cost of replacing tailgates has also contributed to what the insurance bureau has deemed "black market demand."

Tailgates from new or relevantly new vehicles can be equipped with features like a backup camera and more for as much as $3,000 to replace, according to The Los Angeles Times.

They are also easy to steal, and much easier to take than an entire vehicle, according to the bureau. Tailgates can be detached pretty quickly and stealing one doesn't require a lot of tools.

"If a car can be 'gone in 60 seconds,' a tailgate can disappear in 15," said Frank Scafidi, the insurance bureau's spokesman, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Tailgate attachments have evolved the past couple of years, but they are still easy to remove by simply unbolting or unhooking the suspension devices.

In order to try preventing tailgate theft, drivers should park in locked garages or to back up their truck against a building wall to limit access to robbers.

Manual and electronic anti-theft tailgate locking devices are also available.

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