Watch Your Tail! F-150 Tailgate Theft On The Rise

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Fancy tech is making tailgate theft more popular and profitable than ever.

One of the oldest automotive crimes in the book is now more popular than ever, and it’s all thanks to new technology. Tailgate theft has reached new highs as features like backup cameras have made them more valuable. More importantly, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that Ford F-Series pickups are the most targeted tailgates by thieves.

Back in 2010, a mere 430 truck owners nationwide filed insurance claims for a stolen tailgates. But, that number jumped to 1,895 in 2014 despite newer trucks being equipped with tailgate locks. Making matters worse, officials from the NICB believe that actual thefts might be higher, but many folks don’t bother to file claims.


According to Ocala.comthe Ocala, Florida Police Department has received 13 tailgate theft reports, all of them involving Ford trucks. Florida ranks third nationwide in tailgate theft, behind only Texas and California.

Tailgates are popular among thieves because they are expensive ($1,500 to $3,000) and take around 30 seconds to remove if unlocked. And while newer Fords automatically lock the tailgate when the doors are locked, most trucks on the road must be manually locked with a key. Stolen tailgates are typically sold online at legitimate sites, or stripped of their electronics and sold for scrap.


Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to avoid losing your tailgate if you follow the NICB’s tips. If your truck has a lock, lock it. (Duh) If it doesn’t, get one. Park your truck as close as possible to another vehicle, wall, fence, post, etc., in order to prevent thieves from opening it. Lastly, you can even etch your truck’s VIN number on the tailgate to help recover it if it’s stolen.

Next time you throw something in the bed of your truck, just remember to watch your tail!

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Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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