Tailgate Thefts a Pain in the Behind for Increasing Numbers of Truck Owners

By Colin Bird

Hood ornaments and alloy wheels are commonly known as attractive targets for thieves. If you're a pickup truck owner, add tailgates to the list. In the Detroit area, this utilitarian truck end has become the item of choice for many thieves, according to the Detroit News. The thefts often happen in clusters and have increased in frequency over the past seven years.

A random search of local police blotters shows such thefts are common. Many blotters have reports of tailgates taken off of brand-new trucks at dealerships. There are also reports of thieves caught trying to resell the stolen wares.

One advantage for the thieves is it doesn’t take long to steal a tailgate – just a few seconds or a few minutes if the tailgate is locked. Taking a tailgate doesn’t often require tools, either. The quick speeds make tailgate-napping an often elusive crime. We even found a story where thieves stole a tailgate while the driver was in his truck.

Tailgates can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to as much as $3,600 for those with backup cameras and other accessories, according to the Detroit News. The average tailgate costs $1,200 to replace. Typically, thieves try to sell their loot on websites like Craigslist for a few hundred dollars.

PickupTrucks.com Facebook reader Dave Woodmancy suggests tailgate thieves can be inexpensively deterred by putting a radiator hose clamp around the hinge that lifts to remove the gate. Most thieves don't have the screwdriver, ratchet or time to loosen the clamp and are likely to move on to something easier.

[Sources: The Detroit News via Kicking Tires]


go get a damn job like the rest of us, lord people are ridiculous! what happened in this country to the idea of working for you want.

Does anybody know if there is an aftermarket tailgate lock available for a 2002 (1500)-2009 (2500/3500) Dodge Ram?

I often worry about walking up to my Dodge and finding my tailgate missing because of the big chrome: " P O W E R W A G O N" emblem, that somebody would like to get their hands on.

The jobs that American's once had, here in America, are in Asia and India now. No jobs left here because people choose to buy foreign products.

@Buy American or say Bye to America!

anyone with fishing line can pull the 'power wagon' badge off in no time.


I feel even better now? Thanks!

@ But American They are available. We install wheel locks, tailgate locks, and spare tire locks on every vehicle on our lot. If its not tied down it will be taken. The local Ford dealer even had some Harley SDs broken into and the interiors nearly gutted a while back.

@ buy american

its ashame that the people who always say dont buy foreign products buy and drive a vehicle with an american emblem on it that was built elsewhere because the manufacturer shipped their factories outside the us for profit, then drive that vehicle to a store started by an american that now carries mostly Crap built in taiwan and china (WalMart). this is the problem, people dont spend the time and effort to "EDUCATE" themselves on whats american or not, they just want quick and easy and dont like change. its simply our society, sad but true.

hemi lol-

That is so true. That is one of the things that is so wrong with our society. The average consumer is only looking for the least expensive item they can find. Quantity and not quality, is on their minds. They would rather run down to the local Tools-R-Us and buy a $1.99 ratchet, that is Made In China, instead of stopping by Sears and buying a $8.99 Craftsman ratchet that was Made In The U.S.A.

be damned we do agree on a few things lol lol.

What is this world coming to? Ha-ha!

"The jobs that American's once had, here in America, are in Asia and India now. No jobs left here because people choose to buy foreign products."

That is why I keep coming back to the Tacoma, made in the U.S.A.

The Tacoma is made in Japan, assembled in the US. Some second gen Tacomas 2006-2009 were assembled in Mexico.

The second generation Tacomas 2004-2009 are assembled in Tijuana, Mexico and Fremont, California while the plastic/composite beds are all built in Mexico.

@ oxi

"That is why I keep coming back to the Tacoma, made in the U.S.A"

Well at least now we know that's your reason for buying tacos, because it's certainly not build quality that keeps you coming back!

Here in Memphis we're cranking our trucks in the morning to find that the catalytic converter has been stolen. It's not necessarily lack of work either that is driving this, it is also the hard truth that more and more kids aren't raised right anymore in America. Everybody start whipping your kids again!!!

@ Uncle Bud
Yes and start holding our children accountable for there actions

Amazing. Lazy dudes need to get a job, and PULL UP THEIR DAM PANTS!!

look at what has happend to our beautiful country;( ever since thay took prayer and the pledge of alegence out of the public schools, if you don't want to pray bow your head, you have the right to keep your mouth shut, if you don't want to pledge, LEAVE THE COUNTRY!!

My tailgate stays locked.

well then



At least the last dollar comes back to American companies. Not in the case of the Tacoma of course. The last dollar, gets converted to Yen, and goes to Japan.

I like the fact that my ram 2500 was built in mexico, that means i am not supporting the UAW.

I had the dealer install a GM tailgate lock on my 2001 GMC 2500HD several years ago for this very reason.
It was either that or a bumper sticker that reads "INSURED BY SMITH AND WESSON". Made in the USA since 1852.


My Accesscab model was built in the U.S., look it up...

My X-Runner was also built in the U.S., look it up...

I have no need for a 4-door pickup!

@ the coward who does not want us to know their real name,

"Well at least now we know that's your reason for buying tacos, because it's certainly not build quality that keeps you coming back!"

Have you bothered to understand why Tacoma's retain the highest value after 5 years over any other pickup since Kelley Blue Book started tracking this data?

In fact the Tacoma is the ONLY pickup in the top 10, since they started tracking this data!

Consumer Reports just rated the Tacoma the best pickup in reliability likewise!

I'll use the hose clamp trick. Thanks!

@oximoron - the taco buyer, consumer reports, just voted the most unreliable consumer magazine in the world, be an American Buy America, Chevy Silveraldo and GMC Sierra, American owned, American built Ft. Wayne Indiana. toyota's- the crappiest "truck", the most recalled trucks, the shortest lasting trucks, (T100) the truck that has the frame rot off in 5 years...toyota ='s GARBAGE!

My truck came with a lock on the gate 8 years ago, and it's a bare bones cheapy. Not sure why more don't have them from the factory. Not sure how they steal the locked ones w/o damaging them, since that would have to make 'em worth a lot less. The hose clamp is a great idea though- when it comes to theft deterrants, it doesn't have to be proof- just a PITA. I would probably buy a central locking option for the tailgate, if it were available on my next truck, not just to secure the gate, but also whatever is behind it. A tailgate open light would be handy, especially when the truck has a tonneua cover (you cant see the gate)- a lot more useful anyway than tire pressure monitoring, back-up cameras, and other BS required by NHTSA.
Kids- stop hijacking hijacking good threads with your Domestic/Imprort bitching. I have my opinion, but it doesn't belong here.

@ oxi

"@ the coward who does not want us to know their real name"

Is oxi your real name?

I am constantly entertained by you and your obsession with Toyota. I haven't posted on this site before, but have read enough to know spelling and grammar aren’t your strong suites.

You have as much bias opinion against GM as most people do against Toyota on this site; you just can't see it because you're blinded by your taco love.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and you're preaching to a crowd that doesn't care what you have to say. Everyone more or less laughs at you and finds your conspiracy theories and love affair with Toyota a source of entertainment.


Kevin Geltz

PS: That's my real name, and now that you know it I'd like to see what that accomplishes for you.

if Gm wasn't so fen cheap they would have locks on their tailgates as a standard feature. There is no reason to buy a 30k truck and not have a locking tailgate.

This is not a new phenomenon. I recall years ago when a whole row of trucks at a local dealership had all of the tailgates stolen at one time.
A common target is the cats on the Ram diesels. The rare earth metals that allow the Cummins to run without DEF make for an expensive cat. The local dealership had a bunch of them stolen from new trucks on the lot. The local Dodge dealership also had a all of the Grand Caravan's with DVD players broken into and were stolen.
It is a sad state of affairs.
That is why I have a 5 year replacement cost insurance policy on my truck.

@Buy American - so you are blaming auto theft on the Chinese and Japanese as well?
Jobs or the lack thereof - have very little to do with theft. Wealthy people steal more than the socioeconomically challenged. Wall Street, Banks, Industry, and big Government come to mind.
The socioeconomics or psychosocial causes of class, social structure, criminality, addiction, rehabilitation, incarceration, and etcetera are well beyond the scope of this web site. If you wish to debate these topics as well as your favourite "whine" then so be it.
I can easily fill multiple pages on this web site discussing these issues.

My Chevrolet Silverado pickup was built in Ontario, Canada. The build quality was excellent.

Actually Tacomas are no longer built in Freemont. That production was moved to San Antonio, TX with the Tundra. Including some stamping, body welding, painting, and assembly. And many of the other parts come from on site or local suppliers for both trucks. I am not sure, but I believe the engine and transmission for each come from the US as well.

@Cbass - the earthquake and tsunami in Japan has been affecting domestic production. It will be interesting to see who gets affected most - the alleged USA companies or those evil foreign ones.

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