Lock it, Park it, Etch it: to Make your Tailgate Less Attractive to Thieves

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), tailgate theft is on the rise. They have noted that the thefts have been increasing since 2009, with an 18 percent increase projected from 2011 to 2012. The model that has been the number 1 target is the Ford F-series truck, most frequently the 2008 Ford F-250.  With a lot of our customers being owners of one of the F-series trucks we thought we should shed some light on this increasing important issue.

One of the most important things to be conscious of as a truck owner when considering this issue is that tailgates can be stolen in less than 30 seconds, which is why they are prime targets of opportunity.  With tailgate replacement costs reaching $1,000 or more, it makes sense for pickup owners to make their tailgates less attractive to thieves.

Here’s how: 

  1. Lock it. An integrated tailgate lock, if available on your vehicle, is there for a reason – to prevent the tailgate from being opened. A thief can’t steal the tailgate without first opening it, so be sure to lock the tailgate whenever leaving the vehicle.
  2. Park it. You will need some clever parking maneuverability skills for this tip, since the idea is to park as close to an object or structure as you can so that there’s no room to open the tailgate. A backup camera is helpful if you find it tough to navigate the truck in close quarters.
  3. Etch it. Taking the time to have the vehicle identification number (VIN) etched into the tailgate itself will help speed recovery time. The NICB advises that etching the VIN, or your personal identification number, into the tailgate may even prevent thieves from attempting to make off with it in the first place

Taking these precautions can both ease your mind and aid in the recovery process. For more information check out the full report, “NICB Report: Pickup Truck Tailgate Thefts,” here

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