Tips, Tricks & Trends

Are Tailgates Stolen Off Pickups Where You Live?

There is a rash of tailgate thefts popping up around the country. In years past it was not a huge expense to have to replace a stolen tailgate. But today with backup cameras, built-in steps, and unique features it can run a few thousand dollars to replace. No matter where you live, it can happen.

This first popped up on our feed from Fall River, Massachusetts. Fall River police are seeing a growing occurrence of these thefts. It says thieves are especially targeting Ford F-150, F-250, and F-350 trucks. Part of the reason is that it takes less than 30-seconds to kipe one. Replacements range from $1,500 to $3,500. 

Some thieves are selling the stolen goods online but others strip out the electronics and then scrap the rest. 

Man climbing up a truck tailgate at a demonstration.
GMC truck tailgate | David McNew/Getty Images

Prevent tailgates being stolen off pickups where you live

Police are suggesting ways to help prevent tailgate theft. First, you can park your truck close to other vehicles at the rear. Or up against a fence or building if possible. This makes it difficult for thieves to gain access to the rear. Thieves usually go for the easy steal.

The other thing that police are suggesting is that you can etch your truck’s vehicle ID number somewhere on the tailgate. This can ward off the possibility of selling it if it is stolen. 

Catalytic converters are stolen off pickups where you live

Catalytic converter thefts happen everywhere | Getty

Other parts of the country are seeing an increase in catalytic converter thefts. You are probably asking why? There are rare precious metals inside. Thieves can get anywhere from $50 to $250 from recyclers for each catalytic converter sold. Trucks are especially vulnerable.

You may also ask why trucks? They are higher off of the ground making it easier for thieves to go under them. The cats also are more exposed so it’s easier to maneuver around to get them. Thieves will either cut them or sometimes torch them out. 

Some Toyota trucks have two cats

There were even some Toyota trucks that have two converters, so they are especially vulnerable to the theft of cats. Replacement costs range from $1,000 to $4,000 depending on your insurance. 

The newer your car or truck, or if your cat has been replaced recently, the likelihood of the cat being stolen goes down. Less precious metals are being used as the year’s progress. Dealership lots were especially being targeted because thieves had all night to steal as many as they could. Some lots don’t retain 24-hour guards.

How to prevent catalytic converter thefts

The exhaust pipe is seen on a truck in Davie, Florida
The exhaust pipe is seen on a truck in Davie, Florida | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The best way to prevent theft is to park your vehicle in a secure garage or parking lot. If you have to park in a driveway motion detector lights are a good deterrent. A motion detector alarm for your car works as well. 

Believe it or not, there are also devices you can clamp or attach to your cat that inform you if someone is poking around your cat. Some muffler shops will weld extra protection around your cat to ward off theft. This can be a fairly cheap deterrent. 

If your cat has been stolen you’ll know it immediately. When you start it the vehicle will sound like it doesn’t have a muffler at all. It will not hurt your vehicle to drive it a few miles to your dealer or muffler shop.