Denver Police Warn Pickup Owners To Watch Their ‘Tails’

DENVER (CBS4) – Police say pickup owners should make sure they’re locking up at night. In less than two months they’ve had about 20 reports of stolen tailgates.

In about 20 seconds police say thieves can open, remove and take off with the tailgate from a truck, leaving the owner with nothing but a hefty bill.

“It’s $1,600 to replace it,” said victim Dave Ellena.

A majority of the recent thefts were in West Highlands, but some have been stolen as far south as Yale Avenue. The thieves have targeted mostly Toyotas, a few Dodges, and in Ellena’s case, his Chevy Silverado.

Dave Ellena talks with CBS4's Karen Morfitt (credit: CBS)

Dave Ellena talks with CBS4’s Karen Morfitt (credit: CBS)

“We actually went to the grocery store and I didn’t even notice, and then when we came out from the grocery store to put the groceries, I was going to put them in the back of my truck, and I realized, ‘Oh, my tailgate is gone,’ ” Ellena said.

Denver police technician Raquel Lopez says while Toyota seems to be the truck of choice, everyone who owns a pickup should be a little more cautious.

“If they can remove the item and they can get money for them they’re going to get it,” Lopez said.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Pickup owners who don’t have a built-in or store-bought lock can deter thieves by parking close to a building or another vehicle. Police say if they can’t open it, they can’t steal it. For those owners with a lock, it’s time to start using it.

Tailgate locks run about $25. Hose clamps are only $3 but they’re also be a little easier to get through.

Police say they’re not sure where thieves are selling the tailgates right now, but if anyone sees something that looks unusual — maybe online — give them a call.

LINK: Tips To Prevent A Tailgate Theft

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