Larry Jacobs

The National Insurance Bureau released a report Feb. 7 that looked into tailgate thefts.

As you might or might not know, tailgates are those things on the back of pickup trucks that go up and down so you can load stuff.

There were over 1,300 reported tailgate thefts reported from 45 states and the numbers have been increasing since 2009.  The projected increase from 2011 to 2012 is 18 percent.  The states with the most thefts in order are Texas, California, Arizona, Florida and Nevada.

Makes and models include the 2008 Ford F250, 2010 Ford F150, 2007 Chevy Silverado.

The oldest vehicle reported was an 1985 Ford F150.  The newest vehicles identified included the 2012 Chevy, Dodge, Ford, GMC pickups.  Let’s just say basically every pickup truck with a tailgate is vulnerable.

Tailgates can be stolen in less than 30 seconds.  Replacement costs can reach $1,000 or more, so preventing the theft makes more sense.

What does the bureau recommend you do to prevent tailgate theft?

1)      If your pickup truck has integrated tailgate lock, use it.  Apparently, the locks are relatively inexpensive, so you should buy one.

2)      Park with your tailgate as close as you can to an object to prevent your tailgate from being opened.

3)      Etch your truck’s vehicle identification number into the tailgate.

Good luck.

Officer Larry Jacobs is the Crime Prevention Officer for the Sandy Springs Police Department.  He can be reached at

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.