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Hot New Crime Trend: Truck Tailgate Theft

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on October 31, 2011 6:50 AM

Truck tailgate theft.

It may sound weird, but such thefts are reportedly sweeping the nation. From San Diego to New York, thieves are removing tailgates from the back of newer model pickup trucks.

Oswego, Ill. has seen six such thefts since May.

And tailgates cost about $4,200 a piece.

Truck tailgate theft isn't the first time thieves have set their sights on obscure vehicle parts. They used to steal car hoods, doors, and seats from SUVs, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Tailgates may be the new target because they are easy to steal. For those that don't own a truck, a tailgate is the door, or "gate," on the back of a pickup truck. Some of them lock, while others are secured via latching mechanisms.

Those that don't lock can easily be unhinged. They're also light enough for one person to carry away.

Replacement parts are showing up at auto part shops, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. And in Houston, Tex., one thief was arrested after a woman found her tailgate on Craigslist.

Though she went at it alone, it's not a good idea to recover your tailgate without help. If you find it online, speak to local police so that they can coordinate a meeting. It ensures safety and that the thief is arrested.

So, how do you prevent such thefts?

Lock your tailgate if you can. Otherwise park your car in a way that the tailgate is not easily accessible. And if so inclined, there are a number of products designed to prevent truck tailgate theft. Such a product might be a viable option.

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