It may be no surprise that tailgate locks are essential for pickups because tailgates can be stolen quickly and easily, but recent news of the rise in U.S. tailgate thefts makes aftermarket locks even more important.
The rate of tailgate theft claims has been growing since 2009 with an 18% increase projected from 2011 to 2012, according to a first-time report from the National Insurance Claim Bureau (NICB).
The report examines theft claims submitted to insurance companies during the period of Jan. 1, 2006, through Sept. 30, 2012, when a total of 1,343 claims were generated in 45 states.
From 2006 to 2009, there were only 23 tailgate theft claims processed, but the number shot up to 430 in 2010 and increased again in 2011 to 472. As of Sept. 30, 2012, tailgate theft claims for 2012 reached 418 with 557 projected for all of 2012.
The make and model that saw the most tailgate theft claims during the period of the report was the 2008 Ford F-250 with 70 claims, followed by the 2010 Ford F-150 with 48 claims, and then the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado with 39 claims. While the oldest vehicle identified in the report was a 1985 Ford F-150, while the newest vehicles identified included 2012 models of Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, GMC and Toyota pickups.
The cities where the most tailgate thefts occurred were: Houston (96), San Antonio (70), Dallas (51), Phoenix (36) and Fresno, Calif. (31).
The NCIB noted that the numbers in its report reflected insurance claims and are not representative of actual theft activity.