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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Tailgate Tomfoolery

Jim Gorzelany CTW Features
Truck tailgates are fast becoming the components of choice among car thieves, particularly in areas of the country where pickups are most prevalent. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau in Des Plaines, Ill., tailgate thefts jumped by 31 percent last year, from 831 in 2012 to 1,090 in 2013, based on claims information submitted by insurance companies. The top three states for tailgate thefts during 2012 and 2013 were Texas (752), California (334) and Arizona (207), with the cities reporting the most thefts being Houston (145), San Antonio (125) and Dallas (91). Easily detached from their host vehicles, purloined pickup tailgates are either marketed via the Internet or other sources for a fraction of their original equipment cost or are simply sold for scrap. With bona fide replacements costing as much as $1,200, we’d advise pickup owners to use a $20 hinge lock so the tailgate cannot be removed - or at least not easily - without the proper tools.