Truck owners beware! Thieves are hauling off some serious cash by targeting pickup owners throughout Oklahoma. It's a crime that is expected to hit an all-time high this year.
Experts say it takes less than 30 seconds to snatch an unlocked tailgate, and it can cost thousands of dollars to replace.
"I miss my tailgate, and I hate driving down the road without my tailgate," victim Marty Waldon said.
Waldon loves her truck. She saved money to buy it only to become the latest victim of tailgate theft. She was ripped off in a parking lot near N.W. 16th Street and Meridian Avenue, where other snatchings have been reported.
"We've seen a big increase in tailgate thefts over the past few years," Bob Moore Ford salesman Steven Schroeder said.
Schroeder says replacing tailgates can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000. Used ones can cost $2,000. The insurance industry reports tailgate theft claims have increased every year since 2009. Last year's numbers are expected to climb 18 percent.
Frustration is brewing for Waldon because, even though there's insurance, Waldon is out at least a $500 deductible and her premium is sure to go up.
"I figure, if I can go to work every day, [the thieves] can too," Waldon said, referring to the person(s) who stole her tailgate as lazy scum.
Nationwide, thieves target the Ford F-250 the most, followed by the F-150 and the Chevy Silverado. Dealers say the best way to prevent tailgate theft is an easy fix -- just make sure the gate is locked.