Apparently there is a high demand for truck tailgates on the black market. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that from January 1st 2012 to December 31st 2013, tailgate theft has jumped from 831 to 1,090, an unbelievable 31 percent.
The National Crime Insurance Bureau reviewed insurance claims for stolen tailgates from trucks across the nation to come to their finding. Texas led the way with 752 total claims in the two-year period, which is likely due to the sheer popularity and higher number of pickup trucks in the great state. Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas carry the majority of those thefts. California and Arizona followed in second and third place, with 334 and 207 claims, respectively.
Unfortunately, the black market thrives off of items that can be acquired at low risk and low cost to thieves. Tailgates, when not locked, are fairly easy and quick to remove, and thieves can go virtually unnoticed in unpopulated areas. Many of these tailgates are sold for use on similar trucks, but some are sold for scrap, contributing to a nationwide problem of metal theft.
Because an experienced tailgate thief can steal a tailgate in mere seconds, it can happen just about anywhere. The good news? It’s easy to deter such criminals with a simple after-market hinge lock.
NICB spokesperson Frank Scafidi told Autoblog that “it’s hard to know with confidence” the reason for the rise in claims. He speculated that it could simply have been more awareness of the problem, which would mean more people filing insurance claims for it.
This may or may not be a new problem, but the message is clear: it’s worth a little extra effort to make sure your tailgate is locked up, and avoid becoming a statistic.
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