Thieves Take Mere Seconds To Steal Tailgates, Tulsa Company Proves
TULSA, Oklahoma - A south Tulsa neighborhood is on high alert after thieves took off with several truck tailgates.
They took as many as four tailgates off pickups near 71st and Memorial.
Tailgate thefts are on the rise across the country. The National Insurance Crime Bureau says they increase every year.
And given how simple it can be to steal one, that's not surprising.
10/25/2015 Related Story Pickup Tailgate Thieves Strike Tulsa Neighborhood
Daniel Mobley says it happened last week. He came outside to find someone had taken the tailgate off of his new truck.
"Brand-new truck, and we pay so much money for them,” Mobley said. “To think that someone came and took my tailgate off, and my front door's open, my front door's open, it wasn't very late at night."
Experts say more people are stealing tailgates because they can make a quick buck by selling them at salvage shops or online.
The parts are only going for $100-$200 each, but it can cost thousands for the owners to get them replaced.
Glen McGuire, general manager of Line-X Truck Accessories, says most truck owners would be surprised to know how quickly their tailgates can be taken.
"Just lickety-split, two guys can have a tailgate off in 10 seconds a lot of times," McGuire said.
So our reporter Annie Chang put it to the test with her stopwatch.
Line-X graciously agreed to show us how quickly and easily they can remove a tailgate from a truck.
And it only took about 8 or 9 seconds.
Preventing a theft is just as easy, stores like Line-X sell tailgate locks that deter most thieves.
"You know, they want something quick,” McGuire said. “It's just a deterrent for them, they see the lock on there, they pull the handle, it's not going to come off quick. They scram and go on to the next one."
Mobley said he won't let it happen to him again.
"I'm getting one with a lock on it, so I'm going to keep it locked on there,” he said. “Also, I'm going to back my truck up to the garage so it's not as easy."
Experts say most new truck models come with locks on the tailgates. Just make sure they*stay locked, even if there's nothing in the bed of your truck.