Thieves are swiping tailgates right off the backs of pickups in the metro. Oklahoma City police are sending out a warning.
Tailgates can be stolen in less than 30 seconds, making them prime targets of opportunity, and it can cost thousands of dollars to replace them.
“Oklahomans love their trucks,” said Michael Shugart of David Stanley Stanley.
And David Stanley Chevrolet knows it. Pickups are one of its number one sellers, but pickups often catch the eye of thieves because owners forget one big thing; the automatic locks on trucks secure all doors except the tailgate.
“They can be removed very quickly for convenience,” Shugart said.
A convenience for pickup owners that has thieves cashing in. Depending on its color, experts say tailgates can cost a couple thousand bucks, but can be sold quick and cheap.
“One of the best things you can do to safeguard your truck is to lock the tailgate. Not everyone gets in the habit of it,” Shugart said.
And it's that bad habit that's causing the recent spike in thefts across the metro.
“There's a way you can help avoid that happen to you. You can't make your truck burglar proof but you can certainly make it harder for a burglar,” Oklahoma City police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said.
Police suggest etching the truck's vehicle identification number or a personal ID number into the tailgate in a spot only you will know.
Police say this will help them identify your tailgate and it's also a deterrent to thieves.
“If the thief see an item of value and it's easy to take he's going to take it,” Knight said.
If the thief sees an item of value and it's easy to take, he's going to take it.
Nationwide, thieves target the Ford F-250 the most, followed by the F-150 and the Chevy Silverado.