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Pickup truck tailgate thefts on the rise, police warn

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DENVER -- Denver Police are warning the public after a noticing a spike in thieves who are stealing pickup tailgates.

Most tailgates have locks on them, but many people don’t use them and thieves can often steal an unlocked tailgate in seconds.

“I`ve been hearing about it for months and months,” said Jason Brown, who works at The Body Shop in Denver.

Though tailgate thefts aren’t new, Denver Police warned drivers on Twitter after responding to 12 tailgate thefts across Denver in just the past two weeks.

“It really is a little disturbing,” Brown said. “The tailgate just literally lifts off. You could pull the tailgate off my truck in 20 seconds.”

Replacing a tailgate can be very expensive. They can range from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand. Many newer pickups have backup cameras and other technology embedded in the tailgate, and replacing the parts often require installation, wiring and painting.

“There are a lot of parts in there,” Brown said. “It`s not just buying the tailgate, that just comes as a shell. You`ve got to put everything back in it.”

If you don't want to see your tailgate show up on Craigslist, Jason says the key is simple: remember to lock it.

“I have gone to leave for work in the morning and found palm prints all over the back of my tailgate almost as if somebody tried to steal it but couldn't get it open," Brown said.

If you don’t have a working lock on your tailgate you can also buy a universal tailgate lock, use something like a hose clamp to make it harder for criminals, or park your pickup in a garage or against a wall so that thieves can’t open it all the way.

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