Thieves are becoming more likely to target tailgates as the number of tailgates reported stolen soars across the United State. Texas is a hotbed of activity for this unique type of theft, and people living in major metropolitan areas across the state are cautioned to be proactive about keeping their tailgates secure. Houston truck accessories retailers offer tailgate locks that can help to prevent this increasingly common theft from occurring. Accessories including truck bedliners, wheels, performance parts, and truck lift kits are also available through these retailers to customize your pickup truck.
The Rise In Tailgate Thefts
A sharp increase in tailgate thefts has been observed since 2009. Hundreds of tailgate thieves are targeting pickup trucks each year, and many of the thefts occur in Texas. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that this type of theft is increasing in frequency by as much as 18 percent each year.
Data analyzed by the National Insurance Crime Bureau is sourced from insurance claim statistics. Incidences of theft that are not reported to an automobile insurance agency are not factored by the bureau, but the overall trend in tailgate theft can still be observed.
Only 23 tailgate thefts were reported between 2006 and 2009. This number began to explode in 2009, and there are now over 400 thefts reported each year. This number is expected to top 500 as the upward trend continues.
Texas is the state with the most tailgate thefts, and metropolitan areas including Houston, San Antonio and Dallas see a high level of tailgate theft activity.
Reasons For Tailgate Theft
Tailgate theft is on the rise because this truck part is a hot commodity. People are willing to pay $100 or more to purchase a tailgate that has been stolen instead of shelling out $1,000 or more for a new part from a retail store or dealership.
The ease of stealing a tailgate also makes the part a target. Thieves who are experienced in taking a tailgate off of a pickup truck can complete the process in about 30 seconds.
Body shops that participate in unsavory business practices are willing to purchase tailgates from thieves. These shops place the stolen part on a customer’s pickup truck while purchasing a new tailgate from a parts supplier. The shop is then able to claim the cost of the new tailgate when filing paperwork with the customer’s insurance company, but the new tailgate is later returned to the supplier.
Preventing Tailgate Theft
Tailgates cost $1,000 or more to replace, so it is important for vehicle owners to learn more about how to keep their tailgate secure. Keeping tailgate thieves at bay requires vehicle owners to be proactive about security. Tailgate locks are specifically manufactured to deter thieves who target pickup trucks. While these locks may come installed on some vehicle, there are also aftermarket options available.
It is recommended that drivers park with their tailgate facing a building to keep thieves from being able to access it. Parking as close as possible ensures that there is not enough room available for thieves to work on removing the tailgate from the vehicle.
Even the most proactive pickup truck owners may find themselves dealing with tailgate theft. Engraving the vehicle identification number into the tailgate may help increase the chances of having the part returned to its rightful owner. Thieves who notice that the VIN is etched into the tailgate are more likely to pass the vehicle up to avoid the risk of being caught with an easily-identified tailgate.
While tailgate theft is on the rise in Texas, vehicle owners can decrease their chances of becoming a victim by being proactive about tailgate security. A Houston truck accessories retailer carries security options for vehicle owners.