Tailgate Thefts Are Slowly on the Decline

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Ford F-150 Raptor Tailgate

Texas and California lead the way for most tailgate thefts, by a mile.

Unless you’ve been a pickup truck owner for many years, you probably never think about your tailgate being stolen. Back when tailgates were far less complicated, there were actually a fairly high number of tailgate thefts in the United States. While over the decades, those numbers have dwindled, it may surprise you just how many tailgate thefts actually occur.

In a recent report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), there was a reported 3,665 tailgate theft claims from 2016 through 2017. However, the tailgate theft trend seems to be diminishing, with a drop of 6% from 2016 to 2017, with 1,877 and 1,788 thefts respectively. So, the numbers seem to be going down, but for many the number of tailgate thefts is pretty alarming.

The NICB report goes a step further and details exactly where you’re likely to find the most tailgate thefts. Sorry, Texas and California, it looks like you guys are the big offenders. Over the two years, Texas led the way with 1,360 thefts, with California right on their tail with 1,039. For perspective, the third ranking state on the list if Florida, with a paltry 240 claims. While those 240 owners might disagree, Florida’s totals are peanuts compared to Texas and California.

Diving even deeper, the report lists the exact cities where the most tailgate crime is occurring. You guessed it, Texas and California are heavily represented. If there were an Olympics event for tailgate theft, congratulations Texas! Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals go to the Lone Star State! Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio take the top three spots, with 277, 242, and 196 thefts, respectively. Los Angeles and Fresno, California are numbers four and five on the list, but their theft totals are less than 100 each.

While these numbers may be a bit distressing, especially for our Texas and California readers, it’s important to reiterate that the numbers are decreasing. With the influx of technology in tailgates, they’re not just huge pieces of medal that keep items in the truck bed. These are expensive, complicated pieces of machinery that would take skilled thieves to even be able to steal.

Unfortunately, the cost of these thefts is pricey. Tailgates for an F-150 can run upwards of $2,000 or more. For those hoping to avoid that sort of cost, just be careful, and for God’s sake, maybe don’t move to Houston, Dallas, or San Antonio.

Charles Dean is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Rennlist, among other auto sites.

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