5 Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Prevent Tailgate Theft
Tailgate theft can be a real headache, not to mention cost you thousands of dollars. But preventing it from happening isn’t exactly difficult.
Tailgate theft is clearly on the rise, and it’s becoming a real problem for truck owners nationwide. The reasons why are obvious. Thieves have always targeted tailgates because they’re easy to quickly remove. But in recent years, the rise in technology has also made them considerably more expensive. A tailgate that used to cost a couple hundred dollars now costs a few thousand. And unlike an stolen truck, they’re obviously harder to track down.
Things like backup cameras, integrated steps, and the use of expensive materials has turned the humble tailgate into a pricey and complicated part. Replacement tailgates for trucks like the 2017 F-150 can run upwards of $3,000 or more. And that doesn’t take into account the cost of color matching it to your truck. There is good news amid this gloom and doom, however. Because preventing tailgate theft isn’t exactly difficult or expensive. Here are five steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim.
Lock your tailgate, if it has a lock. If it doesn’t, buy and install one
The most obvious solution to prevent tailgate theft is to simply keep your tailgate locked. It might seem like a no-brainer, but the vast majority of people who lose their tailgates to theft didn’t lock them. After all, it’s a well known fact that thieves prefer easy targets. If your truck doesn’t have an electronic locking tailgate, get in the habit of locking it every time you use it. And if it doesn’t have a lock, aftermarket locks can be had as cheap as $50 or so.
If possible, park your truck in the garage.
We aren’t all lucky enough to have a garage, let along one big enough to fit our trucks in. But if you do, parking your truck inside at night can help prevent theft. For one, the truck is out of sight. Secondly, it’s harder to access, which is enough to make most thieves seek out easier targets.
Back into parking spots
When possible, back into parking spots close enough to a wall, garage door, or other vehicle where the tailgate cannot be lowered. This makes it impossible for a would-be thief to lower it, therefore making it impossible to remove.
Install hose clamps to make theft more difficult
For a couple dollars, a pair of hose clamps near your tailgate’s hinge can effectively deter thieves. For one, the thief would have to be carrying around tools to remove them or cut them off. This is also another instance where you’re effectively slowing down the process of removing the tailgate. It may not be 100% effective, but it’s another solid deterrent.
Etch identifying information into the tailgate
Obviously, this tip won’t necessarily prevent theft. But it can serve as a bit of a deterrent as well as provide police with a means of identifying the stolen tailgate. Otherwise, it’s pretty hard to prove that a stolen tailgate actually came off your truck. Plus, it might just be enough to make the thief look elsewhere for their next victim.