Pickup tailgate theft is on the rise

The insurance industry is warning pickup drivers to watch their backs. Tailgate theft is surging.

Tailgates have a rough life. They get rear-ended, backed into objects and dented by shifting cargo. That’s why thieves find a ready market for replacements, selling them on eBay and Craigslist. They are even valuable as scrap metal.

Tailgates are being stolen from private vehicles, commercial vehicles and even vehicles parked on dealership lots, the National Insurance Crime Bureau said.

Houston was the most likely place to get your tailgate stolen, and Texas was the state with the most reported thefts, the insurance bureau said. California was in second place and Arizona third. Together, the three states represented 67 percent of the total claims.

Overall, the number of tailgates stolen jumped 31percent from 2012 to last year, the bureau reported.

Although the total number is small at 1,090 claims, the insurance bureau said the frequency of thefts probably is underreported because of the way that the industry collects and labels the data.

The high cost of replacing tailgates also has contributed to what the bureau called “black market demand.” A tailgate from a new or recent model year truck can be outfitted with a backup camera and other electronics and cost as much as $3,000 to replace.

Tailgates are easy to steal, far easier than swiping an entire vehicle. The gates can be detached quickly and the theft doesn’t require any complicated tools.

“If a car can be ‘gone in 60 seconds,’ a tailgate can disappear in 15,” said Frank Scafidi, the insurance bureau’s spokesman.

Over the years, tailgate attachments have evolved from rigid hinge mechanisms bolted to a pickup truck’s bed to a simple and lightweight cable suspension method that snaps in place, he said. But in all cases, they are easy to remove by simply unhooking or unbolting the suspension devices.

The simplest way to prevent tailgate theft is for drivers to park in locked garages or to back the truck up against a building wall to limit access. There also numerous anti-theft tailgate locking devices available, both manual and electronic.

More in Herald Business Journal

Happy accident leads Edmonds couple to make Hunniwater drink

The latest line of energy drinks by Karin and Eric… Continue reading

Single payer is no panacea for our costly health care system

We must address the cost of health care before designing an insurance system.

Voters are on the sidelines as the port fills a vacant seat

Troy McClelland resigned from the Port of Everett commission too late for an election before 2019.

Career Fair planned next week at Tulalip Resort Casino

The Snohomish County Career Fair is planned from 10 a.m. to 2… Continue reading

American Farmland Trust president to speak in Mount Vernon

American Farmland Trust President John Piotti plans to give a talk about… Continue reading

In new setback, Uber to lose license to work in London

The company, beset by litany of scandals, was told it was not “fit and proper” to keep operating there.

Not home? Walmart wants to walk in and stock your fridge

The retailer is trying out the service with tech-savvy shoppers who have internet-connected locks.

Trade panel: Cheap imports hurt US solar industry

The ruling raises the possibility of tariffs that could double the price of solar panels.

Agent joins Re/Max in Smokey Point

Dennis Roland joined the Re/Max Elite Smokey Point office. The Navy veteran… Continue reading

Most Read